Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

The homeowners of this project by the Austin-based architectural firm A Parallel Architecture owned two narrow lots on the Lake Austin waterfront a mile from Pennybacker Bridge. They decided to combine the adjacent lots and build a new home that would promote family togetherness and also be durable enough for the couple’s three children and two dogs. They also wanted the house to take advantage of the views of the lake. For the firm’s principals Ryan Burke and Eric Barth the challenge was how to balance the fun offered by the lake and the privacy necessary in a house this noticeable.

Lake Austin_01_Entry_Casey Dunn

The 6,750 square-foot limestone brick and stucco house is anchored to the site with water features and terraces. A Parallel Architecture designed the hardscape; plantings by D. Crain.

Lake Austin_07_Outdoor Living Room_Casey Dunn

The roof is suspended from a beam rather that supported by columns, thus enhancing the lake view of the lake from inside the house and giving it dramatic immediacy.

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The color palette of the interior spaces is mostly neutral so as to complement the homeowner’s collection of colorful art, many pieces of which he commissioned just for the home. The white oak floors and furniture are from Ladco Design Center of Houston.

Lake Austin_08_Walkway_Casey Dunn

An ipe walkway begins just outside the front door and leads through the house to the back pier. It connects the major public spaces—living room, kitchen, dining area, formal living room, patio, swimming pool and beach—in the house. Sliding glass walls open up along the entire back of the property and enable the owners to make the most of good weather.

Lake Austin_09_Living Room_Casey Dunn

In the one-and-a-half-height living room a dramatic stone fireplace denotes the center of the home. The room opens onto a stone patio and infinity pool.

Lake Austin_10_Kitchen_Casey Dunn

Out-size clerestory windows in the kitchen keep the room bright, even when the shades are drawn on the windows underneath.

Lake Austin_11_Family Room_Casey Dunn

Sliding glass doors (14 feet tall in the informal living room and 10 feet tall in the formal) pocket into the walls, as do the curtains. When the doors are open and the curtains pulled back the view of the lake is complete.

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The master bedroom is a quiet retreat.

Lake Austin_12_Bathroom_Casey Dunn

A boat dock on the west side of the property is a place to park the family’s boats as well as a spot for the children to cast a fishing line. There’s also sandy beach where the family can get their feet wet.

Lake Austin_04_Entry Pool_Casey Dunn

A small reflecting pool greets visitors as they approach the house and is the precursor to more aquatic views throughout.

Lake Austin_03_South Lawn_Casey Dunn

Builder: Sam Stewart Custom Homes

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CASEY DUNN

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