Westlake Dermatology’s location in Marble Falls was a ground-up design project strengthened by a collaborative process directly with the clients and consultants. Situated along a major Texas highway to the east and overlooking gentle hills to the west, the new medical building is intentionally subtle, minimizing the visual presence of the new construction.
Architect: Matt Fajkus Architecture
Project Architect: Jayson Kabala
Project Manager: Ian M. Ellis
Architecture Design Team: Matt Fajkus, AIA; Jayson Kabala; Ian M Ellis, David Birt
Interior Designer: Allison Burke Interior Design
General Contractor: Zapalac Reed
Structural Engineer: MJ Structures
MEP Engineer: DBR Engineering Consultants
Civil Engineer: LJA Engineering
Landscape Architect: Eden Garden Design
AV: Smart Systems – Austin, TX
Logistic Support: Nitsche Events
Building Size: 3000 sqf
Location: Marble Falls, Texas, USA
Completion: May 2017
Photography: Charles Davis Smith
The nuanced concrete and glass shell merges with the designed landscape architecture, enveloping the comfortable, bright, and open interior in calm and quiet as one transitions from road, through a garden zone, and into the space overlooking the Texas Hill Country.
Patient care and comfort was a priority that influenced the design to tend towards a feeling of security, ease and familiarity. Upon entering or leaving the building, a physical transition and subtle mental cleanse occurs as patients, staff and physicians move through the interstitial space formed by the garden. Once inside, natural daylight is filtered through the perforations of a parametrically designed custom skylight of routed wood. Warm and neutral materials such as Texas walnut, polished concrete, and natural stone and ample floor to ceiling glass alleviate Westlake Dermatology’s Marble Falls location from the sterile and harsh interior environments that may be typically associated with medical offices.
While uniform in size and shape at a glance, the concrete shell adapts to functional requirements such as the tapered, deep overhang that provides shade working together with the fritted glass. The interior is easy to navigate, intuitive, and provides a workflow that both allows patients and customers to wander without interacting with the more private areas of the space.
From a distance, the building is a pavilion in the landscape as a structure to behold in and of itself, but from when in and round the building it acts as deferential backdrop to function and a frame for views beyond. Calibrated detail along with careful material selection and placement result in a soothing and refreshing medical environment that is considerate of spatial and sensory experiences.
Matt Fajkus Architecture
Matt Fajkus Architecture (MF Architecture) is an award-winning and licensed architecture office that welcomes residential and commercial projects of various scales and budgets. The practice offers competitive design fees without compromising design quality and the body of work seeks simple and holistic solutions to complex problems by blending expertise and experimentation.
Full-service Practice + Academic Think Tank. MF Architecture is led by Matt Fajkus, AIA, who is also a Tenure-Track Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. As a young and energetic collaborative, the firm is simultaneously an academic think tank, directly connected to theoretical and technological research at UT, while practicing as an office deeply focused on realizing exceptional buildings.
Nature, People and Buildings Cohabitation. The design work of MF Architecture is based on the belief that each project is unique, as it should be driven by the client, the site and its surroundings, satisfying the rights of all inhabitants while fulfilling functional requirements with individuality, rather than being a singular, preconceived aesthetic.
Adaptable Spaces with Sustainable Strategies. The firm possesses advanced knowledge in sustainable design principles, and the office is driven by the optimism that we live in an ideal time to affect positive change locally and globally, all accomplished through intelligent design. Adaptable spaces accommodating the present and the future are achieved by flexible plan layouts, indoor and outdoor flows, and energy-efficient methods including passive daylighting, natural ventilation, and intelligent material choices, compositions and detailing.
Unexpected Elements from Everyday Objects. The team has a passion rooted in expanding the conventional reach and impact of architecture among the general public and within popular culture. Everyday objects are often taken as inspiration for their simplicity but unlimited potentials and relevance to create extraordinary and functional architectural elements.
Open and Collaborative Design Process. MF Architecture promotes a transparent design process including a direct collaboration with client and builder. Likewise, the office fosters honesty and functionality in design itself, with a belief in balancing restraint and expression in broad design moves as well as details. The team enthusiastically takes on the unique challenges presented by each project to inspire highly creative, cost-effective solutions meant to enhance building performance and daily life as a whole.