Taking advantage of its unique site in Austin’s eclectic Travis Heights neighborhood on the southern shores of Lady Bird Lake, the Edgecliff Residence is a play on contrasts: light and shadow, open and closed, organic and orthogonal. Designed for a couple of empty-nesters on a modest budget, the home’s contemporary aesthetic is balanced by the desire to respect the scale of the existing neighborhood.

From the street, the Edgecliff Residence is characterized by a rainscreen made of galvanized electrical conduit—an inventive, low-cost solution that provides shade and privacy while filtering and diffusing sunlight. Throughout the day, the volume enclosed by the screen is alternately camouflaged and highlighted as the reflective metal responds to changes in the sun and sky. In contrast, the rear of the house opens up to the natural landscape and views of downtown Austin via large windows and cantilevered terraces. Below, the terrain falls away steeply to a public hike-and-bike trail before meeting the lake.

The trapezoidal floor plan responds directly to the constraints of the long, narrow site—one side parallels the street while the other runs adjacent to the site’s natural contours. The lower level contains an open-air carport, foyer, and two guest rooms; the terrain on the uphill side is retained by a low wall made of weathering steel. The main level houses the kitchen, dining, and living spaces. The open floor plan highlights the dichotomy between the two halves of the site: ribbon windows screen the view of the street opposite picture windows that frame the treetops and lake. The upper level includes the master suite as well as a private study and media room. Doors from the master bath and study open onto another outdoor terrace that offers sweeping views of downtown Austin.

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Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Flat RoofLine, and Metal Siding Material. Taking advantage of its unique site in Austin’s eclectic Travis Heights neighborhood on the southern shores of Lady Bird Lake, the Edgecliff Residence is a play on contrasts: light and shadow, open and closed, organic and orthogonal. Photo  of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

Taking advantage of its unique site in Austin’s eclectic Travis Heights neighborhood on the southern shores of Lady Bird Lake, the Edgecliff Residence is a play on contrasts: light and shadow, open and closed, organic and orthogonal.

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, and House Building Type. Designed for a couple of empty-nesters on a modest budget, the home’s contemporary aesthetic is balanced by the desire to respect the scale of the existing neighborhood. Photo 2 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

Designed for a couple of empty-nesters on a modest budget, the home’s contemporary aesthetic is balanced by the desire to respect the scale of the existing neighborhood.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Flat RoofLine, Stucco Siding Material, and Metal Siding Material. The residence is divided into three levels in order to maximize views, with guest quarters at ground level, living spaces on the second floor, and the master suite at the highest level. Photo 3 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

The residence is divided into three levels in order to maximize views, with guest quarters at ground level, living spaces on the second floor, and the master suite at the highest level.

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Siding Material, and House Building Type. From the street, the Edgecliff Residence is characterized by a rainscreen made of galvanized electrical conduit—an inventive, low-cost solution that addresses several practical needs. Photo 4 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

From the street, the Edgecliff Residence is characterized by a rainscreen made of galvanized electrical conduit—an inventive, low-cost solution that addresses several practical needs.

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, Shrubs, Retaining Fences, Wall, Metal Fences, Wall, Trees, Gardens, and Large Patio, Porch, Deck. In contrast to the street façade, with its ribbon windows and metal screen, the rear of the house opens up to the natural landscape and views of downtown Austin via large windows and cantilevered terraces. Photo 5 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

In contrast to the street façade, with its ribbon windows and metal screen, the rear of the house opens up to the natural landscape and views of downtown Austin via large windows and cantilevered terraces.

Modern home with Living Room, Medium Hardwood Floor, Ceiling Lighting, Recessed Lighting, and Pendant Lighting. The open floor plan highlights the dichotomy between the two halves of the site: ribbon windows screen the view of the street opposite picture windows that frame the treetops and lake. Photo 6 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

The open floor plan highlights the dichotomy between the two halves of the site: ribbon windows screen the view of the street opposite picture windows that frame the treetops and lake.

Modern home with Windows, Casement Window Type, Metal, and Wood. The main level houses the kitchen, dining, and living spaces, tied together by a continuous wooden wainscot whose series of half-round profiles echoes the design of the conduit screen outside. Photo 7 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

The main level houses the kitchen, dining, and living spaces, tied together by a continuous wooden wainscot whose series of half-round profiles echoes the design of the conduit screen outside.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Stucco Siding Material, and Glass Siding Material. A sliding door opens onto a large outdoor deck that is connected to the yard via a staircase with a plate steel stringer. Photo 8 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

A sliding door opens onto a large outdoor deck that is connected to the yard via a staircase with a plate steel stringer.

Modern home with Exterior, Flat RoofLine, Stucco Siding Material, Wood Siding Material, and House Building Type. Below, the terrain falls away steeply to a public hike-and-bike trail before meeting the shores of Lady Bird Lake, itself a segment of the Colorado River that winds across the state of Texas. Photo 9 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

Below, the terrain falls away steeply to a public hike-and-bike trail before meeting the shores of Lady Bird Lake, itself a segment of the Colorado River that winds across the state of Texas.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Flat RoofLine, Metal Siding Material, and Stucco Siding Material. Throughout the day, the volume enclosed by the screen is alternately camouflaged and highlighted as the reflective metal responds to changes in the sun and sky. On a clear day, the shimmering screen provides a stark contrast to blue sky. But in the soft light of sunrise and sunset, the screen appears to dissolve. Photo 10 of Edgecliff ResidenceView Photos

Throughout the day, the volume enclosed by the screen is alternately camouflaged and highlighted as the reflective metal responds to changes in the sun and sky. On a clear day, the shimmering screen provides a stark contrast to blue sky. But in the soft light of sunrise and sunset, the screen appears to dissolve.

Interior Design
  • Revamp
Landscape Design
  • Coleman & Associates
Builder
  • Stuart Home Corporation
Photographer
  • Ibai Rigby
Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2019
  • Square Feet
  • 5250