Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas / Alterstudio Architecture

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas

Architects: Alterstudio Architecture LLP
Project: Cuernavaca House
Location: Austin, Texas
Photographers: Casey Dunn

The Cuernavaca house is the latest installment in an evolving constructed landscape on a two-acre family compound that is shared by the client and her sister. Nestled in a wooded lot, the home forms an ensemble with an existing pool house. The latter’s board-formed concrete walls establish the material basis for the new residence, which is home to a family of five and includes two home offices.

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 1

The Cuernavaca house features a restrained vocabulary of rift sawn oak, mill finished steel, galvanized metal panels, and concrete—that alternates in orientation (between vertical and horizontal) and pattern (among board-formed, sand blasted, and bush-hammered). Taken together, these materials create an environment rich in texture and animated by sun and shade over the course of a day.

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 2
The Cuernavaca house slips between the existing pool house and a magnificent live oak, defining discrete terrains on white oak ceiling defines the more intimate spaces within the property. Long views are established: east to the limestone shelf of the Colorado River; north to a rolling meadow; west to a grove of oaks and the shared pool house.

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 3

A 22-foot tall porch, with an outdoor fireplace, provides an outdoor family room; a second-floor roof deck affords constant breezes and stunning views to the limestone cliffs. Aligned with these natural features, the house welcomes engagement with circumstances of this particular landscape as the owners move through their home; further, the house provides a sense of the entire property in incidental moments.

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 4

Inside, dramatic vistas are omnipresent, and the house is alive with activity. The raw texture of the concrete is presented against finely detailed walnut millwork and custom site-glazed window walls, which are framed with rift-sawn white oak and steel to form flitch plate mullions.

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 5

A meandering an open plan. Moreover, rich walnut cabinetry, book-matched statuary countertops, monolithic limestone vanities, and delicate timber screens provide a point of stasis against the ubiquitous and dynamic circumstances of place.

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 6

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 7

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 8

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 9

Cuernavaca House in Austin, Texas 10

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

FWH Vipiteno House / Jab Studio

FWH Vipiteno House is a mountain home recently designed by Milano-based Jab Studio. The house is a mountain mansard where tradition and innovation are related continually.

Contemporary Timber Clad House Inspired by Colonial Workers’ Cottage

As a nod to the prolific housing typology of the area, through its use of materials, T2 Residence reinterprets the workers cottage into a contemporary timber clad house that adopts the idyllic image of the 'house', carrying it through to the details exampled in the profile of its front fence.

Fashion Boutique June Store by StudioW

June Store is a fashion boutique project renovated from a typical townhouse in Vietnam. The shop owner who had lived and worked in the UK for a long time, so she wishes to have a contemporary store

Chilmark House / Gray Organschi Architecture

Chilmark’s long agrarian history on the windswept southern edge of Martha’s Vineyard underpins the design approach to this house and studio for a multi-generational family. The site, a former sheep grazing field, overlooks Chilmark pond, with long views to the Atlantic ...

American Style Luxury Apartment Inspired by 30s / Alexandr Shepel Architecture and Design

This 200 sqm American style luxury apartment was designed by Alexander Shepel Architecture and Design, a Ukrainian studio founded in 2009, in Kyiv. The project of...

Dallas Mid-Century Modern – TW House by M Gooden Design

This Dallas Mid-Century Modern inspired jewel box is just over 2,200 SF. The quaint footprint features douglas fir vaulted wood ceilings and white oak floors throughout.