Architects: Andersson Wise Architects
Location: Leander, Texas, USA
Project Team: Arthur Andersson, Chris Wise, Kristen Heaney, Travis Greig
Contractor: Curtis Gravatt, Construction Arts
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Art Gray
There are a few small limestone cabins from the 1930’s located along Lake Travis, the longest of the Highland Lakes that terrace the hill country west of Austin, and they are used primarily in the summer. One such cabin sits on a slope rising from the water under a canopy of native oaks and cedars. It had one large room, a little sleeping room, a kitchen, and a porch facing the water.
Our clients requested two additional bedrooms with baths and a living area for larger groups to gather. We chose to locate the new sleeping quarters in a separate tower. Two small bedrooms occupy the first and second floors. Above, a third level terrace opens to a panorama of the lake and distant rolling hills. On this terrace, some thirty feet above the ground, even the hottest summer afternoon can be enjoyed under a roof open to the prevailing breezes blowing in from the lake. The original stone cabin is now juxtaposed with a vertical tower of wood, rising up out of the forest and into the bright Texas sky. The Tower draws you up to see the lake, barely visible at ground level through the thicket of trees.