Mod Cott / Mell Lawrence Architects


Architects: Mell Lawrence Architects
Location: Lake Buchanan, Texas, USA
Project Team: Mell Lawrence FAIA, Scott Smith, François Levy, Krista Whitson, & Mark Winford
Area: 1400.0 ft2
Year: 2008
Photographs: Mell Lawrence Architects, Jacob Termansen

Structural Design: Smith Structural Engineers
Contractor: Classic Constructors
Landscape: Brenda Barger Landscape Design

© Jacob Termansen

A simple metal volume perched high on a bluff offers targeted views of the lake below. Predominantly oriented to the south, the house’s galvanized metal exterior is punctuated by storefront windows that frame vignette views to the south, east and west. Inside, a partition wall divides the elongated rectangular interior and supports the loft’s structure, which appears to float above the glazed joist spaces.

© Mell Lawrence Architects

Thick fir decking, sitting atop steel wide flange joists, creates both a ceiling for the private area below and the floor for the loft above. Fir boards wrap three sides of the interior as a super sized wainscoting unifying the stairway, kitchenette and powder room functions.

© Mell Lawrence Architects

Thirteen-foot tall double doors echo the oversized wainscoting effect by further expanding the sense of scale and height in the small space. The doors open to capture the southern view, prevailing breezes, and sounds and scents of nature creating seamless indoor-outdoor connections when desired.


Although it is “on the grid,” its 14 photovoltaic panels collect enough energy to power its intermittent use. Rainwater collected from the roof provides all household water while the xeriscaped landscape requires no irrigation.

Cite: "Mod Cott / Mell Lawrence Architects" 13 May 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>