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Minimally designed home in Austin features intriguing architectural details

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This minimally designed home was commissioned by architects Webber + Studio, located on a tree-lined street in the Austin, Texas, neighborhood of North Hyde Park. The Hyde Park Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic places, and the area’s popularity has been growing in recent years due to its proximity to the University of Texas. In many respects, this 2,800 square foot property draws upon the district’s rich architectural traditions.

In response to regions hot, humid climate, the house was separated into small structures that are open to ventilation. A breezeway connects the front and back areas of the structure, however, this is where the nod to tradition ends. In all other aspects of its design, this home is a reflection of modernism.

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The homeowners wanted a main house with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths since they anticipate a growing family. They also wished for an in-law suite for a father-in-law who lives out of state and comes to visit for extended periods of time.

Above: The metal on the exterior facade is burnished slate.

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“The bridge, by crossing from one part of the house to another, captures a space below it which becomes a breezeway,” says Webber. Overall, the weaving together of interior and exterior space creates a house that is “intertwined with its site, since it wraps around edges of the site to create an enclosed backyard.

From the house’s first floor, several windows and doors blurs the boundaries between indoors and out. There are several small patios that extends daily living into the outdoors, and the ground floor living area of the in-law suite features expansive windows to allow a visual connection between indoors and out.

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The building volume is further broken down at its western elevation by “pop-outs.” These allow the bedrooms along the bridge to have north- and south-facing windows, thereby avoiding solar gain from the western exposure. Along this side of the site, a driveway is pushed to the edge of the property line, providing ample access and parking without bisecting the 60’ x 125’ lot and sacrificing valuable space.

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Above: A double-height interior creates a dramatic entryway. The architects selected pecan, for this project, because they wanted a hard wood that had a lot of (wild) variation between the pieces. This locally sourced material was used on the wall panels, floors and kitchen drawer fronts. The Pecan was sealed with Eco-wise Zero VOC, in ‘Honey’.

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Above: The paint color is Kelley Moore Extra White.

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What We Love: This minimally designed home showcases beautiful material elements used both indoors and out. There is an incredible indoor-outdoor connection thanks to large expanses of glass. We are loving the front entry of this home, with its double volume ceiling that creates a luminous environment that welcomes visitors inside.

Readers, what are your thoughts, do you like the modern design of this home or is it a little too modern for your tastes? Let us know in the comments below!

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Above: The dining room table is the “Russell” from Bensen in Vancouver, BC, while the T chairs from West Elm. The light fixture is the Mercer Suspension by Tango Lighting.

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Above: For the center island, undercounter drawers stand in for base cabinets. The countertops and backspalsh are Carrara marble.

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Above: The luxury of airiness and light trumped the luxury of stuff in this kitchen.

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Above: The kitchen’s design allows for countertop-to-ceiling windows that helps to frame backyard views.

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Above: Full-height windows and partial walls allow sunlight to stream into adjacent rooms.

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Above: The stair treads are solid pecan wood boxes on cantilevered steel treads. There is no guardrail because the homeowner’s removed the glass panel that was originally installed during construction. The intention was to create better airflow and openness. The flooring material is 4″ pecan/hickory, locally sourced in Austin.

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Above: The master bathroom features Lueders Limestone tile for the floors and walls.

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The western facade is clad in metal siding with vertical standing seams. “Metal resists harsh exposures,” explains Webber, “and it has a long legacy in Texas, like many places in the south. Wood siding was selected for use on the home’s more prominent facades because wood gives a humaneness to the building; local cypress keeps the material sourcing regional.

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Photos: Courtesy of Webber + Studio

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