We’ve built you a better ArchDaily. Learn more and let us know what you think. Send us your feedback »

Court Houses / Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction

  • Architects: Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction
  • Location: 802 Cardinal Lane, Austin, TX 78704, USA
  • Architect: Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction
  • Project Architect: Sean Guess AIA
  • General Contractor: Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction
  • Area: 2001.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Sean Guess

© Sean Guess © Sean Guess © Sean Guess © Sean Guess

From the architect. Court Houses are the result of Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction's desire to increase density within the urban core of Austin. Instead of building one single family residence on a city lot, Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction built two. The lot is on a corner, which provided separate points of access. The surrounding neighborhood context is a mixture of residential projects and city and private development infrastructure. This infrastructure, located across each street forming the corner, informed a courtyard design for the houses as a way to mitigate their presence and provide a private refuge. Formally each house is an L, opposing one another to create a perimeter boundary surrounding an internal courtyard.

© Sean Guess
© Sean Guess

The courtyard is bisected by a mixed red handmade brick wall as it weaves through the property, providing both physical and visual separation between each house, as well as a contrast to the smooth steel troweled white stucco used to clad the houses. The first floors are separated, and these opposing separations provide passage into the courtyard and subsequent entry for each house. The second floors are joined above these exterior passages due to zoning restrictions, however distinct separation is achieved through framing and ceiling heights. 

site plan
site plan

The overall massing of the project was conceived as a stark white square box with the middle removed. From this box Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction began to carve into the mass and create overhangs and perpendicular walls into which they inserted most of the glazing. On the street side of the houses this both provides shade for the glazing and orients views up and down the streets, as opposed to across the street to the surrounding infrastructure. In the courtyard the overhangs provide covered exterior living and dining areas, and extensive glazing was used facing the courtyard to capture daylight, while careful placement maintains privacy between the houses. There was extensive bamboo on the property prior to construction.

 lower floor plan
lower floor plan

Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction harvested all that was in the footprint of the project and created a series of privacy and shading screens with the bamboo. These provide a delicate contrast to the massive fields of stucco and provide dynamic shadows and shade.

© Sean Guess
© Sean Guess
Cite:"Court Houses / Faye and Walker Architecture + Construction" 16 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/160415/court-houses-faye-and-walker-architecture-construction/>