The Colorado River, which dissects the city of Austin, is a precious resource that this house very much embraces. Located on a long narrow river side lot, the house is conceived as a “floating fishing village” on the edge of a man made canal, where a collection of small gabled buildings and boardwalks mask the line between land and water.
Architects: Lake|Flato Architects
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Design Team: Ted Flato, FAIA, Bill Aylor, AIA
Structural: Lundy & Associates
MEP: Comfort Air
Interior Design: Stonefox
Contractor: Renaissance Builders, Inc.
Photographers: Patrick Y. Wong, Hester + Hardaway
From the street, a massive limestone wall conceals a guesthouse and office and forms the entry for the riverside compound. Once inside the wall, a 200 foot long boardwalk, the “grand entry hall,” connects the visitor to the rest of the rooms of the house. Bordering this walkway are several simple wood structures that house bedrooms and a study. These detached structures form a series of small courts and inlets off the canal offering private gardens for the additional bedrooms.
The main living room sits at the end of this boardwalk. The entry to the house is a two-story screened boathouse pavilion that offers views up and down the canal and out to Lake Austin. By capturing breezes off the lake in the warmer months and through the use of a large fireplace in the cooler ones, the space can be used throughout much of the year.
After passing through this screened entry, a broad indoor corridor overlooks the canal and connects the public and private areas of the house while also acting as a light-filled art gallery. Opposite the canal, a tall site wall of local limestone creates a private court for the master bedroom suite while dramatically framing views towards the lake.