Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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PEDAL TO THE METAL

In case you missed the AIA Austin Homes Tour last weekend, here’s one of the highlights of the two-day event.

Inspired by the simple shapes of the 1920’s bungalows in the near-U.T. neighborhood, this CorTen steel house acknowledges the efficiency of bungalow living while also addressing some deficiencies inherent in bungalow architecture—dark interiors and a lack of connection to the outside. Architects Chris Cobb and Charles di Piazza deftly update and improve on bungalow basics with this metal house that maximizes its place on a small lot while also celebrating a connection to the world outside.

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Di Piazza uses an entrance courtyard to full advantage, as a way to maximize light as well as to provide privacy to rooms on either side.

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All furniture from Scott+Cooner.

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Note the random-patterned metal screen just beyond the window wall—it’s there to provide a visual distraction to the world beyond, which is a very public one as you’ll see in subsequent photos.

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The house was ingeniously designed to take advantage of the beauty of the big oak but also to accommodate city regulations which prohibit building within 20 feet of heritage trees. Di Piazza and Cobb cantilevered the deck over the oak’s root system so as not to damage the tree and to comply with environmental rules.

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A peek from the living room into the kitchen.

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Floors and ceiling are wood planks, which add warmth to the all-metal building. West-facing clerestory windows block harsh sun as well as a street view.

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Windows are on three sides of the kitchen-dining space, including one into the entrance courtyard.

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Hallway to first-floor office or guest bedroom at the front of the house.

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The second-floor master bedroom with deck shaded by the heritage oak.

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Living space in the master bedroom is nearly doubled, thanks to the deck.

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View into en suite bath.

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View at night of the patio and a connecting pocket park which the house shares with Texas French Bread just across the parking lot.

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The rear parking space for the house with entry into the mudroom/laundry room.

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View from the pocket park, as your come home from a wonderful dinner at TFB. Could anything be better?

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREA CALO

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