The Ridgewood Residence is a carefully-composed interpretation as a reimagined classic Mid-Century Modern house by A.D. Stenger. The horizontality of the original design, low-pitched roof and unique fireplace form are respected in the adaption, and the simple material selections are based on the original palette, while also providing an updated enhancement.
Architect: Matt Fajkus Architecture
Architecture Design Team: Matt Fajkus; Jeffrey McCord; David Birt; Travis Cook; Alberto Rodriguez
General Contractor: Miars Construction
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
GFA: 3,785 sqf
Photography: Leonid Furmansky
Built on a sloped lot, the house negotiates the topography with 4 distinct terraced foundation levels. Public and private realms are separated on either side of the floor plan, with the primary staircase and other steps as the manifold between.
To accommodate the additional square footage requested by the client, the design proposes two new wings extending into the backyard. These additions carefully navigate around the large existing trees on the lot, while also providing direct connection with tree canopies, in line with Mid-Century Modernism’s celebration of nature. The new design aims to reinforce and rejuvenate the classic original house, both in programmatic layout and through intangible experience.
The common areas are reconfigured to open to the living space and around a new central courtyard deck, allowing for contemporary social cooking and entertaining, while new windows are designed to optimize daylight harvesting and views through the leafy lot.
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, and AIA Austin Design Award, and an international Blueprint Awards commendation.
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 Fajkus is co-authoring a book titled Architectural Science and the Sun, which is currently under contract with Routledge Publishers. Main Stay House, one of the recently completed single-family residences, was named ‘Best of Austin’ in the Austin Chronicle’s 2016 Critics Picks, and one of the five best residences in Texas by “Dezeen.”