The homeowners purchased their modern home in the historic and highly desirable neighborhood of Clarksville, a small historic district west of downtown Austin, Texas. Constructed in 1915, the house was among the few remaining that had not been demolished. LaRue Architects spent time researching the home’s history and consulted with a historic restoration expert to help inform their work.
The house is perched on a hill with one-of-a-kind views of the Texas State Capitol and the expanding Austin skyline — uniquely located at the threshold between the sparkling modern downtown hi-rises and the historic fabric of one of Austin’s oldest and Trendy storied neighborhoods.
DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT LaRue Architects BUILDER Foursquare Builders INTERIOR DESIGNER Love County Design STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Steinman Luevano Structures LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT David Wilson Garden Design STYLING Adam Fortner WINDOWS Loewen Windows and Doors
LaRue Architects and Foursquare Builders took a great deal of time and care to hold on to the home’s historic character. The team set out to painstakingly restore and rebuild — as ancient and modern now seamlessly meld in the modern 3,900 square foot home.
A simple material palette was used: Boral siding mimics the original, traditional exterior in the front while expansive glass, stucco, and metal panels were used for a modern back exterior. Teak decking is used on the porches and the terrace as a unifying element.
What We Love: This historic home in Austin provides its inhabitants with a completely modernized interior and updated exterior. We love how the architects were able to give the exterior facade a facelift while keeping it in the style of the historic neighborhood. Large windows capture views of downtown Austin, as does the fabulous newly integrated negative edge swimming pool. Overall, this home preserves the charm and character of its past while offering current design trends.
Tell Us: What details in this renovation project do you find Trendy intriguing and why in the Comments below!
Note: Be sure to check out a couple of other astonishing home tours that we have highlighted here on One Kindesign in the state of Texas: Tour this dreamy modern Texas farmhouse surrounded by oak trees and Step inside this vineyard farmhouse in Texas that made our jaws drop.
The painted blue soffit above the porch retains a connection to the neighborhood’s traditional roots and its history as one of the oldest post-Civil War settlements west of the Mississippi. “We thought it was important not to erase the history of Clarksville and given the home’s age we wanted to convey its history and traditions which are the foundations of this Austin neighborhood,” says James LaRue, LaRue Architects.
The home sits on a steep hillside which presented a number of challenges for the intended work. The pier and beam house sat nine feet off the ground at the site’s lowest point and the clay content of the soil — while suitable for pier and beam — added structural challenges for the renovation and addition, which included plans for a negative edge pool and floor-to-ceiling windows.
With its hip roof and wrap-around porch, the reconstructed front facade remains appropriately in step with the style of the historic neighborhood. “On the street, the home presents itself as a good neighbor in form, scale, and material, all updated to stay true to the original style. Even inside the front door, the immediate impression is one of a renovated traditional home, seen in the wealthy shiplap paneling lining the entry hall,” say’s LaRue.
Additional historic details conclude art rails in the shiplap entry hall alongside reconstructed traditional windows that reside with the original side lights which frame the modern entry door. The deep blue of the entry opens to a modern soft off-white of the modern spaces. Doors to a bedroom and office (two of the home’s original spaces) flank the entry hall but are completely concealed in the walls, streamlining the procession that moves visitors from the traditional to modern spaces that appear unexpectedly at the end of the foyer.
The renovation essentially turned the house sideways, opening the living spaces to the eastern city views which previously were only visible from the side porch. A hint of this orientation is apparent from the front, where the steel frame of the screened box that extends from the living room can be seen extending onto the side porch. “It marks the point of collision between the ancient and modern on the exterior, an intersection that is at once startling and perfectly logical,” adds LaRue.
This historic home’s main level houses all the bedrooms and common living areas with two sets of stairs that connect to two modern spaces tucked under the house — the garage at one end, and the modern exercise room at the other. The living, dining, and kitchen are an open space with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that opens to the sparkling infinity pool and terrace — one of the main focal points of the home.
In the public spaces, ten-foot-tall and six-foot-wide sliding doors and four-foot transoms are accommodated by a structural system that obviates the need for large headers with the soffit lifted to further expand the view, and a clerestory window wraps around the corner at the kitchen, introducing southern light into the space.
Architects James LaRue and associate Emily Haydon used three-dimensional architectural modeling to create a virtual walk-through of this historic Austin home that enabled the owners to evaluate the exact views from each room by a specific time of day.
A custom wine display shields the stairs that lead from the kitchen to the garage. The stairwell walls are lined with laminated Life magazine covers retrieved from the original basement, celebrating the home’s endurance and longstanding history.
Loewen Windows and Doors, the manufacturer of the timber frame curtain wall, was an essential collaborator in creating the operable wide-open glass frontage that smoothly merges inside and outside and enables the dazzling, uninterrupted view.
PHOTOGRAPHER Casey Dunn
One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work page for consideration!