Comfortable and contemporary, the Tree House offers generous living space,four bedrooms, and a guest suite to its family of four while encouraging aconstant appreciation of nature.
The home’s two curving rooflines—one concave, and the other convex—create adialogue with the steeply sloping site, unfolding the house to stunning views of itsnatural surroundings. The convex roof shared by the living, dining, and kitchenspaces opens the interior of the house to a canopy of oak trees and a small pool.Generous windows in every room illuminate the interior space and offer views ofthe surrounding branches, making rooms feel as if they are floating among thetreetops.
At the street front, the concave roof forms a low, unassuming façade thatrespects the scale of the neighborhood and provides privacy for bedrooms andstudies. The roof starts low, allowing the residence to resemble a one-levelbuilding when viewed from the street, and rises up to capture the views of theoak trees and the cityscape. The meandering path from the street to the house’sfront door is curved, while the lush landscape between the path and the garageoffers a view of beautiful greenery instead of looking onto the street.
The entry was conceived as a wedge that connects and opens to the direct viewof the trees beyond, while separating the public and private areas of the house.The owners entering the house through the garage arrive to the same entry pointas their visitors. The native Texas limestone on the outside of the house wrapsinto the entry’s right wall, creating a continuity from exterior to interior. Inside,varied lighting illuminates the space: the downlights of the left wall provide anopportunity for art display, while the opposite stone wall is up-lit from theBrazilian cherry wood floor. These different light sources, in addition to the threeskylights, infuse the space with texture, warmth and color.
Located on the house’s second story, the living room lies at the level of the treebranches, allowing residents to enjoy the foliage of the property’s old, nativeoaks. Floor-to-ceiling windows and clerestory elements flood the space withnatural light, offering panoramic views of downtown Austin peeking throughintertwining branches.
The open kitchen offers an ideal area for entertaining and for informal familygatherings. The 11’6” ceilings add light and airiness while the height of thekitchen cabinetry matches that of the stone wall, bringing the scale down andproviding a horizontal continuity. An adjoining lower-ceilinged breakfast roomprovides a cozy space for casual meals and for children to do their homework.The cabinetry, which continues from the kitchen into the breakfast area, serves as additional storage for linens, and platters along with crafts, mail and homeoffice items. The picture window offers views of the street and front landscapeand also creates a clear connection between the front and back side of thehouse.
The master bedroom, located on the same floor as the living room, features floorto-ceiling glass and a corner window that flood the space with natural light andopen the room to panoramic views of the surrounding branches. The masterbathroom’s double-height ceiling, along with its clerestory windows above,creates a space that is airy and bright, filled with natural light. The shower’scorner window maintains privacy while still offering extensive views of thebackyard and landscape.
The third floor guest bath features an undermount tub set into a dramatic woodalcove. A large sliding door provides access to a private rooftop balcony withviews to downtown Austin.
The ground floor, which houses the children’s bedrooms and a generousplayroom, provides the family with a more secluded space for recreation andrelaxation. A day bed nestled below the stairs and comfortable sofas reflect theinformal nature of the space. Meanwhile, a side door provides quick access to acovered patio and nearby bocce court.
At the same level as the living area, the beach-edge pool provides an attractivewater feature that can be constantly seen from the living room, reflecting theshadows of the trees. Above the pool, a wood overhang contains a projectionscreen that enables residents to watch movies or sport events while soaking inthe hot tub. Conveniently located next to the kitchen, the bar provides an outdoorentertaining area that, with Austin’s weather, residents can enjoy year-round.Residents can further experience the breathtaking landscape by sitting outsideon the generous ipe-floored deck that extends from the living room, providingseating directly under the tree canopy.