Omnipresent even before the coronavirus crisis took hold, the term “wellness”, when applied to real estate, is wildly nebulous, tricky-to-define, and more often than not, prone to well-washing, a GOOP-y cousin of sorts to greenwashing. Wellness-centered real estate was a $134 billion industry in 2017 and expected to grow to $180 billion in 2022. This trend has no doubt been accelerated by the pandemic as basic things like “healthy indoor air quality” and “operable windows” are further pushed to the top of the list of coveted amenities at new residential new developments where communal bells and whistles were once paramount.
With a keen eye on sustainability, San Antonio- and Austin-based architecture firm Lake|Flato has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to designing buildings of all types that are healthy for the planet and the people that live and work in them. Wellness isn’t so much a unique selling point for residential projects designed by the firm but more of an ingrained ethos at this point.
Haciendas, an Oaxaca Interests-headed residential development in West Dallas designed by Lake|Flato with the Dallas-based Hocker serving as the project’s landscape architect, pays special mind to the seamless integration of indoor/outdoor living and post-COVID anxieties.
Americans, many still emerging from quarantine (or heading back into it), are taking a greater interest in homes firmly attached to larger communities—in this case, once-neglected, now development-crazy West Dallas—that are social, vibrant, and culturally rich but, at the end of the day, afford more private space, particularly private outdoor space, than standard residential developments. Essentially, American homebuyers are more so than ever looking to spread out and seek solace without having to move to the sticks. Haciendas isn’t monastic or secluded by any means but, thanks to privacy-affording design elements and an overall focus on outdoor living, it’s a comfortable place to stay put for a spell if need be.
A key design feature of all three home types at Haciendas—the residences range from 1,500 to 1,850 square feet on lots as large as 7,500 square feet—are private courtyards, a multi-use staple of traditional hacienda-style residences, that enable residents to be outdoors while also holed up and alone, if necessitated. Ample private and shared green space is all a key element of Haciendas and its “retreat-style” trappings.
For each home, Lake|Flato chose to utilize interesting flourishes not typically found in the area, including exposed concrete walls and corrugated metal roofs. Inside, each residence were specified to be free of toxic materials and finishes, and each home includes ultraviolet light air purifiers and built-in air exchange systems.
The first homes at Haciendas were recently completed and prices start at $550,000.