When the clients for the Bouldin House, a young couple in the music industry, approached Alter Studio they didn’t have an image in mind, or a site, but knew that they wanted a very special home that would embrace the many different things that they liked. The design presents an aesthetic that engages serendipity in many guises, where board-formed concrete, rough recycled wood flooring, and vertical cedar siding is posed against abstract detailing allowing sunlight and shadow from every direction.
Architect: Alter Studio
Contractor: S&W Construction
Landscape: Mark Word and Client
Project Area: 2300 sq ft
Project Year: 2009
Photographers: Paul Bardagjy Photography and Jonathan Jackson Photography
The house takes advantage of Austin’s 25’ front yard setback requirement by capturing a private walled courtyard on the busy street to the south, and instead turns to face the side street to the east. Situated between this courtyard and a protected live oak tree, the Bouldin House is a compact, 2-story building that expands both north and south into the lot. Carefully orchestrated windows, skylights and a glass floor further open the house to the sky and sun, and provide a continued sense of openness to this 2300 sq ft home. Rooms are designed to provide both intimacy and expansiveness. A cozy 9’ x 9’ media room sits at the center of the house downstairs, while the upstairs office/studio stretches the full 43’ length of the house and is open on both ends to continue the sense of breadth and engage views of downtown. Butt-glazed corners and windows that rise beyond interior ceilings add a sense of surprise and ambiguity to the whole.
Oriented for optimal cross ventilation, the Bouldin House also is outfitted for a rainwater collection system, solar photovoltaic array, solar pool heating tubes, reflective TPO roofing, cellular foam insulation, tankless water heaters, etc. Their desire for a sustainable lifestyle is also reflecting in their decision to live centrally and work from home, all within a modest sized footprint.