These five Austin homes from the Dwell archive combine sustainable design with contemporary ingenuity.
A family matriarch enlisted an architect, an interior designer, a builder, and a landscape architect to help realize her vision for a diminutive, low-key lakeside getaway. In a family’s pint-size lake retreat in Austin, Texas, ipe siding and decking meet concrete floors and steeland-glass windows. Stained cyprus was used for the ceiling and soffit. The custom barn-style sliding door conceals the family’s collection of giant inner tubes and other boating equipment. Photo by Kimberly Davis.
On Austin’s outskirts, where urban, industrial, and rural collide, lawyer and science-fiction author Chris Brown’s bunker-style home redefines modern city living. Edgeland House, built on a cliff-top lot in Austin by architect Thomas Bercy for lawyer and writer Chris Brown, is topped by a living roof to help it blend into the landscape. The concrete, steel, and glass house is divided into two distinct public and private halves. Photo by Dave Mead.
Homeowners Alex Wolfe and Jamie Thorvilson recently moved into the Wolfe Den, which sits on a quiet residential block in Austin. The facade, clad in massarunduba hardwood sourced from a managed forest supplier, strikes a sharp modern chord but still echoes the painted wood siding on many of the neighboring homes. Photo by Viviane Vives.
Along the entire west side of the house, a lush courtyard creates private exterior space that can be enjoyed during much of the year in Austin, particularly with large shade trees overhead. The entire ground level of the house opens onto the courtyard, including the first-floor shower. Photo by Viviane Vives.
Situated in the heart of Austin,Texas, just blocks from the University of Texas campus, the Avenue G House offers a unique and abstract perspective on a thriving historic neighborhood. Kevin Alter, founder of Alter Studio and associate dean of UT graduate programs as well as director of the architecture program, designed the home for a couple with three young children. With the residents’ needs and wants in mind, Alter transformed an underwhelming 1,500-square-foot duplex into a dynamic and welcoming living space.
Alter wanted to design an approachable, livable space that possessed unique character and addressed the residents’ personal tastes. “My role as an architect is somewhere between trusted adviser and clients’ representative. My goal was to help figure out what would make a house meaningful for them.” The Avenue G house was the winner of the AIA Austin 2010 Design Awards' Honor Award.