The Garner Pool & Casita was designed for a creative couple and their two kids in Austin, Texas. After previously renovating their main house, the family wanted to repurpose their non-descript backyard to add a small pool and new accessory structure for additional living and entertaining space. They hired architect Elizabeth Baird, who was working for a residential contractor at the time and took on the project in a design/build capacity. She worked closely not only with each subcontractor but also with the clients, collaborating on every detail of the new build.

The project was also an exercise in pushing the limits of a site as it is located in a dense neighborhood not far from downtown and had many constraints to work within. However, Elizabeth was able to achieve all of the programmatic elements the clients requested, and more, touching and defining over 2000sf of outside space, as well as adding the new freestanding casita building which is approximately 475sf.

The new site layout creates strong axis between the living room of the existing house, the new pool, and the new casita building anchoring the back of the site. In between, the sloping site is carved and terraced to define a series of outdoor spaces characterized by grass, wood decking, concrete, stone, and steel. The new light-filled casita houses a double-height living space, kitchenette, bathroom and sleeping loft above. Its interior is full of rich finishes and details, including plaster walls, wood windows and doors, custom concrete tile, plaster shower, custom concrete bath sink, and custom steel and wood loft ladder. The lush landscaping provides a soft green layer that ties the project together to create a new backyard oasis, minutes from downtown Austin.

Elizabeth Baird uploaded Garner Pool & Casita through Add A Home.
Add your own project for the chance to be featured in Editor's Picks.
Modern home with Living Room, Sofa, Chair, Coffee Tables, Cement Tile Floor, Pendant Lighting, and Recessed Lighting. The new casita features a double-height living room with custom cement tiles and plaster walls, as well as a kitchenette nook, and custom steel & wood ship ladder to a sleeping loft above the bathroom. Photo  of Garner Pool & Casita

The new casita features a double-height living room with custom cement tiles and plaster walls, as well as a kitchenette nook, and custom steel & wood ship ladder to a sleeping loft above the bathroom.

Modern home with Outdoor, Concrete Pools, Tubs, Shower, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Hardscapes, and Walkways. View looking from the new deck along the central axis towards the new pool and existing living room (with  new concrete deck). The new design built-up the sloping site around the pool so its surface could be raised to allow more of a connection between the existing indoor spaces and the water. Photo 2 of Garner Pool & Casita

View looking from the new deck along the central axis towards the new pool and existing living room (with new concrete deck). The new design built-up the sloping site around the pool so its surface could be raised to allow more of a connection between the existing indoor spaces and the water.

Modern home with Outdoor, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Walkways, Concrete Pools, Tubs, Shower, and Grass. Looking from new back porch towards the new pool, casita building, and new outdoor living space. Photo 3 of Garner Pool & Casita

Looking from new back porch towards the new pool, casita building, and new outdoor living space.

Modern home with Outdoor, Grass, Concrete Pools, Tubs, Shower, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, and Walkways. A grassy area provides a spot for sunning poolside, and a steel trellis shades an integrated dining area beyond Photo 4 of Garner Pool & Casita

A grassy area provides a spot for sunning poolside, and a steel trellis shades an integrated dining area beyond

Modern home with Outdoor, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Walkways, Grass, Trees, and Hanging Lighting. New outdoor dining space is defined and by a custom concrete and wood bench with steel trellis above . Photo 5 of Garner Pool & Casita

New outdoor dining space is defined and by a custom concrete and wood bench with steel trellis above .

Modern home with Living Room, Cement Tile Floor, Coffee Tables, Chair, Recessed Lighting, Pendant Lighting, and Sofa. The new casita features a double-height living room with custom cement tiles and plaster walls, as well as a kitchenette nook, and custom steel & wood ship ladder to a sleeping loft above the bathroom. Photo 6 of Garner Pool & Casita

The new casita features a double-height living room with custom cement tiles and plaster walls, as well as a kitchenette nook, and custom steel & wood ship ladder to a sleeping loft above the bathroom.

Modern home with Bedroom, Wall Lighting, Bed, Chair, Painted Wood Floor, and Storage. The small sleeping loft integrates plaster niches for storage. Photo 7 of Garner Pool & Casita

The small sleeping loft integrates plaster niches for storage.

Modern home with Bath Room, Wall Mount Sink, Wall Lighting, and Cement Tile Floor. The new casita bathroom features a custom concrete sink, plaster walls, and custom concrete tile. Photo 8 of Garner Pool & Casita

The new casita bathroom features a custom concrete sink, plaster walls, and custom concrete tile.

Modern home with Bath Room, Cement Tile Floor, Wall Lighting, Full Shower, and Enclosed Shower. The concrete tile transitions into the plaster shower for a seamless look. Photo 9 of Garner Pool & Casita

The concrete tile transitions into the plaster shower for a seamless look.

Modern home with Living Room, Sectional, Cement Tile Floor, Pendant Lighting, Chair, Recessed Lighting, Coffee Tables, and Storage. The sunny double height living space features custom concrete tiles,  plaster walls with built-in niche storage, and a custom slatted wood door leads to an indoor storage area. Photo 10 of Garner Pool & Casita

The sunny double height living space features custom concrete tiles, plaster walls with built-in niche storage, and a custom slatted wood door leads to an indoor storage area.

Modern home with Doors and Interior. Looking from the bathroom to the living space through the portal, which houses a small closet,  and also provides a spatial and material transition from private to public space . Photo 11 of Garner Pool & Casita

Looking from the bathroom to the living space through the portal, which houses a small closet, and also provides a spatial and material transition from private to public space .

Architect
  • Elizabeth Baird Architecture & Design
  • www.elizabeth-baird.com
Interior Design
  • Elizabeth Baird
  • Shannon Lowry
Builder
  • Miars Construction
Photographer
  • Andrea Calo
Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Type
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2015
  • Square Feet
  • 475
  • Lot Size
  • 6899
  • Bedrooms
  • 1
  • Full Baths
  • 1
  • Get a Daily Dose of Design

    Sign up for the Dwell Daily Newsletter and never miss our new features, photos, home tours, stories, and more.