South 5th Residence by Alterstudio Architecture

South 5th Residence by Alterstudio Architecture located in Austin, Texas | The Hardt


2017 Residential Architect Design Awards


Custom Home Less Than 3,000 Square Feet | Award


A steeply sloped Austin, Texas, infill site—complete with an existing 25-foot-tall rare Oak tree—is not the easiest place to build a single-family home, but easy has never been a prerequisite for local firm Alterstudio Architecture. For the 2,990-square-foot South 5th Residence, the team created a sculptural blind façade, tucked behind a delicate 4-inch-wide gabion wall at the street, that gives way to a glazed, light-filled three-story interior that prioritizes views.





To preserve the Oak tree’s root system, regular foundations were not an option, so the designers created a scheme where the living area is perched on two piers that tread lightly on the site. The overall ensemble caught the interest of the jury, especially Katherine Chia, who noted that “the use of materials is really beautiful, and I think that the house is shaped by really clear composition. I thought it was really successful in section as well.”


In addition to the suspended living room, the main level contains a kitchen and dining area, as well as a media room and guest bedroom, with an additional two bedrooms upstairs (including a master suite with panoramic views to Lake Austin), and a family room, gym, and deck on the basement level. Large site-glazed window walls—framed in rift-sawn oak—and ventilator doors throughout draw daylight and breezes through the house, and contrast with concrete and mill-finished steel surfaces. “I think this is a beautifully detailed and composed project, and it has a very well thought through proportional strategy as well,” R. Michael Graham said.


Visit ARCHITECT to see the rest of the winners of the 2017 Residential Architect Design Awards



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