Walls of glass are juxtaposed with gray Leuders limestone at a contemporary single-family home in Sunset Valley, a 660-person enclave located six miles southwest of downtown Austin. The 2,717-square-foot property gently slopes down a half-acre lot with a sculpture garden and several heritage live oak trees.
The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath dwelling was designed by the current owners, Myles and Jo Fox, along with Austin firm A Parallel Architecture. Completed in 2015, the structure comprises two gabled volumes covered with Galvalume metal roofs. To maximize views and create a sense of being outside while still indoors, the architects used glass as one of the main building materials. However, the owners still wanted to maintain privacy, so the team positioned the home away from the street with a winding driveway that leads to a pinewood-paneled, two-car garage at the end of the elongated volume.
From the garage, a stone path leads through a sculpture garden to the front entrance. Oversize, triangular clerestory windows allow light to trickle inside throughout the day. "You can practically tell time by the way the light moves around the walls like a sundial," says listing agent Mike Mogavero of Compass. "It’s magical."
Both Jo and Myles are avid art collectors, so their home was designed to show off the majority of their collection. The front door opens to the spacious but cozy living room with soaring, 18-foot ceilings clad in pinewood paneling. A ventless gas fireplace and wide-plank oak flooring add warmth to the art-filled interior. "The home is definitely an art collector’s home," says Mogavero. "But [it’s] a work of art as well."
The living room connects to a cozy library nook—one of Jo’s favorite spots in the home—that’s separated from the kitchen and dining area by a smoothed-down Leuders limestone wall. A large, multicolored photograph called SUBSTRAT 2311 by German artist Thomas Ruff hangs from the kitchen and dining room wall, while an extremely thin Vibia pendant lamp, or "flying saucer" as Jo calls it, hovers above the dining table.
An 18-by-6-foot skylight straddles the pitched roofline above the kitchen. During the day, sunlight bounces off the oversize, stainless-steel island by local fabricator Steel House MFG. Oak cabinets made by Austin carpenter Tim Cuddy complement the L-shaped quartz countertop.
At the rear of the larger volume, the primary bedroom boasts a series of tall corner windows that overlook the landscaped garden. The primary bath includes an open shower, standalone tub, and large vanity. An oversize window with a frosted glass section brings diffused light into the space.
A doorway leads from the main bedroom suite to the large deck and pool area, which is also accessible from the living room. Myles worked with an arborist from the Sunset Valley Public Works Department, as well local landscaping company Gatewood Designs, to bring the backyard to life with native trees and plants, as well as large boulders originally found on-site. Low-voltage and solar-powered lights illuminate the outdoor area.
"I feel very good about the way the house was designed in the environmental sense because it's a reasonably sized footprint that integrates well with the nature around it," says Myles. "Everything was done with a mindful approach."
29 Pillow Road in Austin, Texas, is currently listed for $3,790,000 by Mike Mogavero of Compass.
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