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Steven and Cathi House Architectural Collection

Identifier: Ms-2006-017

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of information about over 200 projects, throughout the United States (mostly in California), Mexico, and the Caribbean. Material about each project includes construction documents, and some also have related color photographs of the finished project and written project descriptions. The collection is arranged alphabetically by project/client name. Additional project materials are being processed by our staff.


  • 1975-2020, undated


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research. Unprocessed materials may be viewed upon request.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Steven and Cathi House are alumni of the Virginia Tech College of Architecture, where the couple met in 1970. They received their B. Architecture degrees in 1974 and 1977, respectively. In 1982 they opened their own architectural and graphic design firm, House + House Architects, in San Francisco, California. They have completed a variety of award-winning projects throughout the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean. Their diverse body of work has included original design and construction as well as restorations and renovations of residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. Graphic design projects have included design of display, publicity materials, signage, and stationery letterheads for various companies.

Cathi and Steven House have lectured extensively, served on the Advisory Board for the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech, and established a study abroad program based in Mexico. As previously indicated, the Houses have devoted much of their time to travel and have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America. They have also written several monographs together exploring vernacular architecture, their love of travel, and their design philosophy, including:

House + House: Choreographing Space (1999)

Mediterranean Villages: an architectural journey (2004)

Houses in the Sun: light movement embrace (2008)

Villages of West Africa: an intimate journey across time (2018)

From their book Houses in the Sun: “[T]heir work focuses on enduring design that incorporates natural light and ventilation, passive solar heating, gray/rain water systems, local and recycled materials, shading, high-efficiency glazing and mechanical systems, and development of microclimates and strong connections to the outdoors” (292).


37.5 Cubic Feet (33 boxes; 55 oversize folders )


Steven and Cathi House are Virginia Tech alumni and award winning architects. Their firm House + House is located in San Francisco, California. This collection includes materials for over 200 residential, institutional, and commercial projects scattered throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.


The collection is arranged by client and/or project name and divided by type of material.

Source of Acquisition

The Steven and Cathi House Architectural Collection was donated to the International Archive of Women in Architecture at the Special Collections by its creators in 2005. Additions to the collection were donated in 2007 and 2008. Many additional materials were donated in January 2021.

Separated Material

The following items have been catalogued and are available to view in the Special Collections reading room:

Books by the Houses:

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Steven and Cathi House Architectural Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The arrangement and description of the Steven and Cathi House Architectural Collection took place in August 2006. The finding aid was updated in 2007, 2010, and 2022 to reflect additions. The current finding aid reflects all recently donated drawings, but not all project records or other files. Processing of these materials is ongoing.

A Guide to the Steven and Cathi House Architectural Collection, 1985-2018
Originally processed by Amy S. Vilelle; updated by Harvey Clark. Later donations processed by Jade Snelling.
2010, 2022 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-10-13: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US