When the new owner of this 1980s house called for a complete renovation, the architects saw the opportunity to transform its dark, dated interiors while taking better advantage of the home’s spectacular location atop a promontory offering a 180-degree view of Lake Austin and the rolling hills beyond.
Incorporating the site’s dynamic landscape into the daily life of its residents, the [Bracketed Space] House is designed as a meaningfully-framed procession through the property with nuanced natural lighting throughout. A continuous and jogging retaining wall from outside to inside embeds the structure below natural grade at the front with flush transitions at its rear facade. All indoor spaces open up to a courtyard which terraces down to the tree canopy, creating a readily visible and occupiable transitional space between man-made and nature.
An undeveloped sixty-foot wide parcel of land, extending three blocks is a result of two residential developments merging in the 1930’s. In time, houses were built on each end of the three blocks. Moretti’s house began with the purchase of one of these 60’ x 300’ lots, the only lot without an existing house.
From the street the house appears to be three, single-story connected buildings that suggest a compound. The exterior surfaces of the units are different materials and colors accentuating the tripartite design. The main volume that faces the street and houses the public areas is clad in Leuders limestone, the others in stucco, one painted cream, the other left the natural gray with a sealer. The three units are staggered and offset by 10-feet, but are unified by a standing seam metal roof. A black cypress screen sets off the front door.
The World’s populations continue to migrate towards cities. In the case of our country, people are again returning downtown to live and to work. To make our future cities healthy and livable, it is imperative that urban development embrace sustainable design strategies and adopt necessary guidelines and regulations. The city block– the basic DNA of urban planning–provides the appropriate scale for intervening and speculating on the future well-being of our cities. Sustainability, in its broadest definition, includes a range of issues from environmental technologies, lifestyles, community integration, to education and economics. Our project aims to address these essential issues and illustrate through a design proposition that sustainability can be a catalyst for both change and innovation.
The Moody Pedestrian Bridge is a one of a kind Inverted Fink Truss bridge in Austin, Texas. The bridge connects two buildings as part of the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas. It crosses over West Dean Keeton Street, a busy thoroughfare that traverses the campus. The bridge is characterized by a series of slender steel towers that vary in height and scale creating an elegant statement along one of the major avenues surrounding the campus. This type of bridge is the first of its kind in the United States, and the only one worldwide with a single support tower as the main loading member. The overall length of the bridge is approximately 300’ (91m) with a slender high tower of 65’ (20m) which marks the bridge crossing from a distance creating a gateway to the university campus for students and visitors alike. The pedestrian bridge compliments the architecture of the Bello Center, one of the recently completed buildings of the College of Communication. The bridge has integrated aesthetic lighting into its stainless steel railings.
This contemporary architectural design, located just blocks from the Barton Springs Pool and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, features two residences in the heart of Austin’s Zilker Neighborhood. Both units open out to private landscaped interior courtyards as well as second floor balconies with views to downtown. The exterior material palette consists of a vertical standing seam siding contrasted against a white washed, vertical cypress tongue and groove siding. The rear unit is the builder / developer, Tim Mccabe’s own residence featuring prints from noted photographer David Hume Kennerly and sculpture from his travels in Asia as the development manager for the Pero Family in Dallas. Tim’s brings his sensibilities from living in Dallas in cannonical modern urban residences by the likes Bud Oblesby and Frank Welch of the O’Neil Ford School here to Austin’s own growing modern tradition. The building as a whole is a focused on elegant, urban living through a simple edited material palette, amazing framed views to the Zilker’s mature tree canopy and ample outdoor gathering spaces.
Situated at Historical Fourth ward Houston, Texas, Shotgun Chameleon (designed and build by Zui Ng with ZDES) is Inspired by Gulf Coast raised shotgun houses and versatility of chameleon skin. The design emphasizes programmatic flexibility and response to climate. The chameleon-like front screen element provides a myriad of facade possibilities to adapt this design to different urban contexts and to a variety of solar/ wind orientations. Possibilities include wood siding painted to blend with the street-scape, billboards where commercial uses are feasible on the ground floor, louvered wood (vertical or horizontal depending on orientation) to allow for breezes while blocking direct sun and providing privacy, solar panel screen to harvest solar energy, or vine covered screens reminiscent of French quarter balconies. As for the alternating wood slats screen on the sides, they provides privacy for both residents and the neighbors while allowing sunlight and wind to move through the house. A double height glass windows frame an ever evolving urban view at the South and a floor to ceiling opening frame the four seasons views of nature at the north.
Casa Linder is a 3,700 square foot single-family residence located in a well-established, but transitional East Dallas neighborhood. Informed by the owner’s fondness for reclaimed materials, and inspired by the historic architecture of the Texas Blackland Prairie homestead vernacular, Casa Linder embraces the architectural heritage of the earliest Dallas settlers by blending the simple forms and materials of the original prairie dwellings with contemporary planning and crisp detailing.
Austin’s Bouldin Creek neighborhood provides a unique and ever-changing context to the Main Stay House. The challenges were both cultural and site-specific. The Main Stay House exists as a simple and straightforward proposal – an architectural experiment on domesticity – enabling lifestyle flexibility through clean forms, relatable materiality, and an urban infill living space that blurs the lines between inside and outside.