This house addition — approximately 1100 SF of new space — stretches and grows out of an existing low-slung, 1950’s ranch house in the Barton Hills neighborhood in Austin, Texas. A vertical tower of interwoven levels, the design weaves together two home offices, as well as a family living room, reading room, play loft, and roof deck for two creative tech professionals and their young child.
The slender addition stretches one-room wide up to the panoramic Greenbelt view. It takes its scale, positioning and massing from the original house while it’s envelope flexes from level to level, nesting the spaces into the surrounding trees and creating carefully-framed views.
We kept expensive cabinetry to a minimum, and instead designed a network of exposed framing and digitally-fabricated plywood shapes — work-surfaces, benches, shelves and railings – to stich the 5 vertically-staggered levels of program. With these lighter, plywood elements, we stitched the kitchen and dining of the existing house to the new living area, the living to her office, and her office to his. The levels continue up to a reading/ view space, a kids’ playroom/ sleeping loft, and finally to a rooftop deck.
We were asked to redesign a small, 2-room apartment by a client who had decided to join the Westminster Senior Living Community in Austin.
The client wanted more space than she was able to get — due to demand and long wait-times for the larger apartments at the facility — so we set out immediately to increase the sense of space of this small apartment with whatever tools we had.
In addition to reconfiguring and modifying the bedroom and bath, we deployed built-in furniture and storage into nearly every wall thus freeing up more space for movement and creating the sense of there being more space than there originally was. We envisioned the apartment like a personal railroad car or ship cabin where every inch is well-considered and utilized.
Our office was asked to transform and expand a 1980’s-era attached duplex into 2 houses, or condominiums. We added 2nd-story master bedrooms to the front of the houses with new living areas below, and thus redefined the massing of the houses, their entrances, and sense of autonomy vis-a-vis each other. We played with the line between sameness and differentness of the units of this former duplex: we underscored that they are two mirror-imaging units of one larger structure, yet at moments treated the fronts of each slightly differently, imparting to each homeowner a sense of uniqueness. At the existing structure, we broke into the attic area to gain space for the lower level kitchen, exposing the original fir truss members and adding light from above. For the skin and character of the addition, we composed a composition of cladding: thin vertical brick and polygal insulated translucent wall panels. Our material choices, and approach to the treatment of the existing structure were in part born from the challenges of the developer’s limited budget.
This project was a renovation and addition project, totaling 3100sf. Built in the 1950’s we renovated the house in 2003. All the walls in the kitchen/ utility area were removed to give way to a comprehensive cabinet / partition system. We embraced the 8′ ceiling, and enhanced the connection of living to the exterior by repositioning headers and beams from the area below the ceiling to the attic, replacing the ceiling with custom-milled fir, and stretching the front and back living room facades with a steel and glass door and window system. We added a screened pavilion and pool for entertaining.
Visit us on Architizer!
We were asked by the new owners of a renovation/ addition project, we had designed in 2003, to create a master bedroom addition to this house and site overlooking Lake Austin, on River Road in Austin. We were able to create the 1000 sf addition by cantilevering it over the tree roots of several heritage oaks and by threading our porch roof around its limbs. The new structure gained its design cues from a pavilion we had designed for the original owners in the 2003 project but needed to connect directly to the original 1950’s low ranch house. For us, the project was an exercise in providing for the owners’ space needs without overwhelming the original structures or robbing any critical experiences from the lovely site. At the end, there was really only one sensible, though challengingly constrained, place to place the addition and preserve the beauty of the site and existing architecture.
For this project, our client asked us to create a 1100sf small house, or rental apartment on the back side of an existing 1940’s house near the University of Texas campus.
We elected to put the 2 private bedrooms — for the likely independent university student tenants — on the ground floor, whose entrances are accessed off of a glowingly lit stair atrium. We envisioned the atrium to be outdoors and clad large parts of it with a Poly-Gal translucent wall system. We left parts of the wall framing exposed and clad other parts in plywood, moves which underscored the indoor-outdoor feeling of the stair area.
As you move to the second-level living, and view to the beloved UT Tower, you experience interior windows, and cladding which further blur the clear distinction between what is an indoor and outdoor space. Materials are simple, exposed, durable and not too precious in most cases: fitting and lasting we hope for the tenants who live there.
Computer Numeric Controlled, or CNC, cutting is a tool that our office has utilized in numerous applications ranging from cabinetry, to countertops, to wall/floor panels, to furniture. The program’s 1/64” tolerance allows for extreme precision. This tool allows us to transform a common material, like birch plywood, into organic shapes with intentional curves and connections.
This 3004 sf. residence was designed in collaboration with Minguell-McQuary Architecture+Design. The design earned a 4 Star Green Building Rating from Austin Energy Green Building Program. The canopy material from 3-Form and the 80% recycled rubber shingles are just a few of the eco-friendly features of this project.
Tom Hurt, AIA
2300 sq ft Main house with an additional 900 sq ft for an accessory building.