The site is a one acre, narrow slice of hillside just blocks above bustling South Congress Ave with tree top views of downtown. Rocks and native vegetation envelope the property, consistent with the casual, un-manicured character of its neighborhood.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

Project Name: Hillside
Studio Name: Tim Cuppett Architects
Location: Austin, United States
Photography: Whit Preston

©Whit Preston

Solving simultaneously the response to site and client: he, a musician who wanted a modern box with views to downtown and she, a yoga practicing mid-wife who wanted a barn with animals, the solution embraces and exploits the depth and slope of the land.

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From street level, one climbs a stair through a stone plinth to an elevated terrace captured by the house, screened porch and a grove of Live Oaks. Only the screened porch projects out from the slender block to capture prevailing breeze and afford uninterrupted views through the site.

©Whit Preston

At the center of the home, the wall between dining and screened porch opens to provide true outdoor living. The dining room’s double height interior volume draws fresh air up and through the house. This functioning solar chimney combined with wide deep overhangs enable passive cooling through temperate seasons.

The material palette was chosen with owner interests and neighborhood context in mind. Exterior slurried stone and rustic, shou sugi ban siding melt comfortably into the overgrown landscape along Hillside Avenue while thin steel details and large expanses of glazing cater to more modern sensibilities.
So too on the inside, slick white walls contrast with v-groove millwork and quilt- inspired tile installations.

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©Whit Preston

The result is a composition of buildings which reinforce a camp-like aesthetic gathered around heritage live oaks. Both modern and rustic the house celebrates the “spirit of its place.”

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022