Texas House With Dramatic Black Brick Cladding

Texas home with retractable glass walls

Texas home with retractable glass walls

Called the Main Stay House, the dwelling is located on a slender urban lot in Austin’s Bouldin Creek neighborhood.

Encompassing 3,271 square feet, the two-storey house contains four bedrooms, an office, a playroom and a slender yard with a swimming pool.

The project was designed to enable “lifestyle flexibility” through clean lines, modest materials and a strong connection to the outdoors. The dwelling is fronted by an opaque bar, lined with stucco and clad in grey ironspot brick – a textured brick made with a mix that results in color variations. Rectangular pavers lead to a hidden front door.

Behind the brick face is a two-storey volume sheathed in glass, wood, stucco and grey siding. A balcony is visible from the street. The entry sequence is a twist upon the conventional domestic front door, front facade and fence. The masonry wall replaces the typical residential fence and frames an indirect access to the front door, functioning as a privacy barrier while revealing slices of the interior to the public street.

Inside, a staircase bifurcates the layout, providing a division between the home’s communal and private zones. In addition to the master bedroom, the ground floor contains an open-concept living room, dining room and kitchen. The south side of the home features retractable glass walls, which enable interior rooms to merge with a side yard and pool terrace. A slim, wooden staircase leads to the upper level, which houses two bedrooms, a playroom and a guest suite.

The hot climate of central Texas was a guiding force during the design process. The architect oriented the building in a way that minimizes solar gain while enabling an abundance of natural light. The team incorporated double-glazed windows with low-E coatings. The windows are operable to facilitate cross-ventilation. Various openings are carefully considered in each interior space to withstand the harsh west sun, providing a balance of daylight and shading while reducing reliance to artificial lighting. The inside of the house is cool enough to live without a functioning air conditioner, even in the hottest months. The architect integrated other eco-friendly elements, such as low-solvent paint and wood products that use formaldehyde-free binders.

The pool area capitalizes on the dappled light from a tree on the property and is partly shaded by a roof overhang.

the inside and outside almost merge in one

the inside and outside almost merge in one

the interior decor is modern and eye-catchy

the interior decor is modern and eye-catchy

black brick clad adds drama to the decor

black brick clad adds drama to the decor

a narrow wooden staircase leads to the upper floor

a narrow wooden staircase leads to the upper floor

the entryway is very laconic

the entryway is very laconic

the poolside area becomes an outdoor family room

the poolside area becomes an outdoor family room

the house was oriented to the west to avoid heat inside the house

the house was oriented to the west to avoid heat inside the house

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