A balance of natural light, simple materials, and flows, are integrated with controlled views and atmospheric variation. This Central Austin house was remodeled in the spirit of the original Mid-Century Modern house, with an open plan, honest natural materials, and a direct connection to nature.
The design opens the house up not only by unifying the common areas, but also by literally raising the original roof. Through merely consolidating the service core and extending it as much as possible to the back, both public and private zones become more desirable. The kitchen is seen as part of the social space, opening up rather than part of the service core. This strategy allows a completely open planned public zone which allows a raised ceiling height with clerestory windows on the south, west and north sides. The raised ceiling maintains the original pitched roof geometry to stay harmoniously with the existing gabled roof in the private zone. The exposed roof structure helps to define each function and expanding beyond the face to connect to the outdoors while preserving privacy to the street, and the tongue and groove wood ceiling continues out to the soffit to visually dissolve the limits of enclosure. Furthermore, as an effort to bring the outdoors in, intimate patios are created for both public and private areas.
About Matt Fajkus Architecture (MF Architecture)
The design work of Matt Fajkus Architecture, informally known as MF Architecture, is based on the belief that each project is unique, as it should be driven by the end user, the site, and functional requirements, rather than a singular, preconceived aesthetic. The practice aims for clear and simple solutions to complex problems by blending expertise as well as experimentation.
MF Architecture is led by Matt Fajkus, AIA, who is also a Tenured Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where his innovative teaching has received multiple local and national awards. In 2013, he was recognized with the University of Texas System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award - the highest teaching honor awarded by the entire school system. As a young and energetic collaborative, MF Architecture combines theoretical and technological research overlapping with UT, while operating as a practical office deeply focused on realizing sustainable and exceptional buildings.
Matt Fajkus holds a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and under his leadership, the firm has grown to prominence within the architectural discipline and beyond in a few short years, consistently making strong and positive impacts on the field of architecture at the local, regional, and national scale. The firm was selected for inclusion in the 2015, 2014, and 2012 AIA National Emerging Professionals Exhibit at the AIA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and has received multiple design awards for various projects including a National AIA Small Project Award, four Texas Society of Architects Studio Awards, a Spark Space International Silver Award, an international Blueprint Awards commendation, and two AIA Austin Homes Tour and the 2017 AIA Austin Emerging Professional Award.
The designs, research and writings of MF Architecture have been published extensively, including but not limited to “Architectural Record,” “Arch Daily,” “Texas Architect,” “Dwell Magazine,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “Dezeen,” “Austin Way,” National Public Radio, ESPN’s Longhorn Network, and Fajkushas co-authored a book titled Architectural Science and the Sun, which is published by Routledge Publishers. Main Stay House, one of the single-family residences, was named ‘Best of Austin’ in the Austin Chronicle’s 2016 Critics Picks, one of the five best residences in Texas by “Dezeen,” and “Dwell Community’s Top 20 Homes of 2017” by Dwell Magazine. Alive + Well Austin, one of the commercial projects, was named “Best of Austin” by Austin Chronicle and Austin Home Magazine in 2018. The practice has been selected to be on Wallpaper* Magazine’s “Architects’ Directory 2018.”