From Elizabeth Baird Architecture & Design
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.