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Blueprint for Living
Melissa Jacobs | Photo: Portrait by Simon Gentry; terrace photo by Raymond Alderete | July 14, 2014
Architects Rame and Russell Hruska are revitalizing the once-neglected Museum Park district into a thriving, sylish community.
For University of Houston architecture graduates Russell and Rame Hruska, it all began at the Blueprint Ball. He was dateless. She was a volunteer. Now, 14 years later, the husband-and-wife duo is turning urban luxury green by reviving Houston’s Museum Park district and infusing it with their unique neighborhood brand.
“We build more than just homes,” says Russell. “We build communities.”
Theirs is a fully customized A-to-Z process that moves from land acquisition, to plans, to construction and interior and exterior design. Since forming their firm, Intexure Architects, in 2001, this focused vision has come to life in more than 16 homes in the Museum Park pocket, where the Hruskas have five homes under construction, another five sketched and an additional 12 being mulled, all under $1 million. Each home features first-floor living spaces, high-end Poggenpohl kitchens, Duravit faucets, and Bosch and Thermador appliances, while smart technology capabilities, solar panels, water filters, generators, VOC paint and advanced air-conditioning systems lay an invisible layer of quality to the atmosphere. “There is a much bigger shift toward modern homes than when we started. People aren’t afraid of it now. It’s a lifestyle,” says Russell. “You can still have all of your stuff; you just don’t have to look at it in our homes,” Rame adds. It’s a lifestyle the couple wholeheartedly embraces. For two years, they lived with their two young children in a 650-square-foot space above their office, which taught them how to “live judiciously,” says Rame. They recently moved into a home built across the yard from the office. The new house is a poetic blur of indoor and outdoor living. Framed with glass, steel, zinc and fiberboard, it’s classic Intexure style.
Russell, who is also president of the Museum Park Board, is zealous in spreading his urban community brand. “There’s a large historic home near us and we’re being asked to buy it and develop the area. But we don’t want it torn down. We hope it’s preserved,” says Russell. “We’ve set a new standard and we want to be an example not to settle, to be marketplace driven. We’re making our own market.”