Project: The High House
Architects: Ravel Architecture
Location: Austin, Texas, United States
Project size: 5000 ft2
Site size: 43560 ft2
Completion date 2021
Building levels 1
Photo Credits: Chase Daniel
Text and photos: Courtesy of Ravel Architecture
Configured as a boomerang to accentuate the land’s natural curvature, this high-ground home perches at the brow of a hillside to maximize the site’s 180-degree perspective. On the western side, high walls lined with clerestory windows create a buffer between the busy adjacent road while balancing light throughout the day. On the eastern side, double-insulated floor-to-ceiling windows open the interior living space to panoramic city and canyon views, while overflow parking and a covered entrance allows convenient guest access. Inside, the home is separated into northern and southern wings, united at its central joint with an insulated covered porch that looks out to the east. The northern wing features a communal living space with a command-center kitchen, and a secluded master suite with a seating area, spa-like double vanity and shower, and private deck access. To the south, a gallery hallway with three guest suites, a private den, and a kitchenette opens into a covered deck – perfect for poolside lounging. Designed with durable, elemental materials like white oak and venetian plaster, the High House will be anchored to its surrounding environment for decades to come.
How is the High House project unique?
The sloping site combined with a demand for a single floor residence is an unusual combination.
What were the key challenges?
The lot had a 20-40 degree slope
What was the brief?
Design a single floor home on a lot with an extreme slope.
Position the home to take advantage of canyon and downtown views.
What were the solutions?
A board formed retaining wall was placed in order to terrace the site for access. The retaining wall was made taller than necessary in order to become the main demising wall of the home. One side of the retaining wall is driveway and pedestrian access, the other side is the home, held up on piers as tall as 30 feet.
What building methods were used?
Exposed Board Formed Concrete, Steel frame piers and beams, open web steel joist roof structure
Key products used:
Fleetwood Sliding Doors