Project: Sherman Residence
Architects: Ravel Architecture
Design Team: Alex Finnell, Dan Fields, Devin Keyes
Engineering: Duffy Engineering
Consultants: Positive Energy
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Area: 3300 ft²
Photo Credits: Jake Holt
Text by Ravel Architecture
On a secluded street in Austin Texas, this home was designed for clients in search of a quiet and private sanctuary. The clients wanted a full-size lap pool that they could use for daily exercise and the site posed a challenge because of its expansive soils and 25-foot elevation change. The location of the pool became the linchpin for the design of the Sherman Residence. The design strategy integrated the pool into the house, and in doing so it gave new opportunities. The pool works to bisect the house, with the public living areas on the one side and the more private master suite and office on the other.
The entry of the Sherman Residence is presented on axis with the pool and the pool acts as a visual anchor that can be seen from different points when navigating through the home. Formally, the core of the home itself is a glass-enclosed pavilion flanked by limestone and wood volumes. A chamfered ceiling allows for long clerestories to balance light without sacrificing privacy.
Bounding a common central yard the limestone and wood volumes of the home tuck between clusters of mature trees that dot the sloping lawn. From the command center kitchen the home pinwheels out over entertaining areas, spilling out onto a back terrace and integral lap pool which divides the private master suite wing from the shared spaces.
In front, the multistory garage’s feature birdcage stair rests on a slender stiletto heel and connects a rooftop garden deck with Hill Country views to a dedicated media room tucked into the hillside.
The design incorporates as much natural light as possible while also encouraging outdoor use. The wrap-around windows in the main living area connect the inside with the outdoor patio and pool. In the bedroom, direct access is given to the pool for morning swims.
The Sherman Residence is also designed to be long-lived and energy-efficient. The floating concrete foundation with sixty piers ensures the building will last long into the future, and energy efficiency is aided by solar panels, high-performance VRF air conditioners, and a third-party consultant aided in the design of the building envelope and HVAC systems.