Some folks say that new ideas come to Tulsa slowly, starting at the coasts and filtering inland, and that’s generally been true of sustainable home design. Tulsa’s urban landscape is dotted with Art Deco and mid-century modern homes, precious few with contemporary, energy-efficient features. Aaron Rogers, who founded Tulsa design-build firm CR Forma in 2008, is changing that reputation.
“Tulsa is fairly conservative in many aspects, including the architecture,” he says. “People here haven’t really gotten to the point where they are willing to spend the money for those types of features.”
The few Oklahomans who are looking for new energy-efficient homes can look to CR Forma. The owners of Place41, CR Forma’s newest addition to the Tulsa landscape, share Rogers’s passion for responsible building and wanted a home with sustainable materials, sophisticated amenities, and a stately aspect. “They wanted a modern home that would be efficient to operate and to live in, with virtually no exterior maintenance, which created a challenge for us,” Rogers says. “There is very little available land in mid-town Tulsa and very little inventory for people looking for a truly modern home.”
“We had to come up with ways to create clean, modern design in a cost-effective way,” Rogers continues, “so we tried to creatively customize many design and construction elements that were not available from conventional suppliers.” For instance, a local cabinetmaker mimicked expensive European sliding doors that the client loved—with hidden hardware and no visible hinges—for a third of the cost. The doors are solid-core birch veneer with a custom stain to match the cabinetry.
The 6,500-square-foot residence is located on a two-acre site in mid-town Tulsa; an existing 6,000-square-foot home was razed for the new home, which is set back on the property for privacy and passive solar alignment. The main floor, designed to ADA requirements, features two master suites for the owner and his aging parents and includes space for a future elevator. Large glass walls border the main living areas, overlooking a rear courtyard pool and spa and blurring the line between indoors and outdoors. Outside, monolithic walls and layered stonework provide privacy and security and create the appearance of a larger home.