Built on a sloping site outside Austin, Texas, this residence looks like a giant tree house. This tree-house feeling is given by the fact that the upper levels of the house are at the same level with the branches of the old oak trees, and the windows look out through the green leaves. The design achieved by Miro Rivera Architects is in harmony with the steep sloping site and makes the most out of this situation. The house unfolds both horizontally and vertically in order to maximize the living space and the views for its residents. The house has two curved roof-lines, a convex one towards the slope and o concave one at the street level. The convex roof creates a dialogue between the living spaces and the tree branches that reach this level of the house. On the street side, the concave roof respects the scale of the neighborhood and provides privacy for the private area of the house which is situated at this level. Native Texas limestone wraps the street facade up to eye-level, creating a continuity between exterior and interior. The top part of this facade, as well as the front of the house, are clad with vertical red wood slats. The whole house is oriented towards the view and the city below,while the street side has mainly an access function, pedestrian and by car.
The street side of the house is unassuming and it keeps with the general height of the neighborhood. Seen from this angle, the house looks like a single-storey building.
Between the house and the sidewalk there is a landscaped space that insures privacy and comfort to the master bedroom and study, which are located at this level. A path made of stone tiles meanders from the main entrance to the garage.
The street level corresponds to the mid level of the house, where the day area has been organized. The lower level that bites into the slope houses the garage and the children’s bedrooms and playroom. The upper level is dedicated to the guest quarters.
The living room communicates with the outside areas through floor-to-ceiling glazed windows and doors. It also dialogues with the branches of the oaks like from a tree house position.
The kitchen, with high cabinets in dark wood, opens towards the dining room and living space. It continues outside with a barbecue and bar space that, thanks to the mild climate, can be used year-round.
The outside spaces are compact but smartly laid-out to provide good entertainment areas for the residents and their guests. A projection screen is concealed in the wood overhang, so sports games or movies can be watched comfortably from the pool or the bar.
In terms of materials, there’s an elegant mix of white walls and carpentry with Brazilian cherry wood floors. Special attention has been paid to details and finishing.