M1700 House, Austin, Texas. RAVEL Architecture.
“On a secluded street in Austin Texas, this home was designed for clients in search of a quiet and private sanctuary. The clients wanted a full-size lap pool that they could use for daily exercise and the site posed a challenge because of its expansive soils and 25-foot elevation change. The location of the pool became the linchpin for the design of the house. The design strategy integrated the pool into the house, and in doing so it gave new opportunities. The pool works to bisect the house, with the public living areas on the one side and the more private master suite and office on the other.
The entry of the house is presented on axis with the pool and the pool acts as a visual anchor that can be seen from different points when navigating through the home. Formally, the core of the home itself is a glass-enclosed pavilion flanked by limestone and wood volumes. A chamfered ceiling allows for long clerestories to balance light without sacrificing privacy.
In the front of the house, the multi-story garage is set behind a birdcage stair that connects a rooftop garden deck and a dedicated media room tucked into the hillside. The design incorporates as much natural light as possible while also encouraging outdoor use. The wrap-around windows in the main living area connect the inside with the outdoor patio and pool. In the bedroom, direct access is given to the pool for morning swims.
The house is also designed to be long-lived and energy-efficient. The floating concrete foundation with sixty piers ensures the building will last long into the future, and energy efficiency is aided by solar panels, high-performance VRF air conditioners, and a third-party consultant aided in the design of the building envelope and HVAC systems.”
Photo credit: Jake Holt