PROPERTY: Private Residence
PROJECT: Welcome II The Dawn
LOCATED: Austin, TX / Seven Oaks
AWARDS: AIA Homes Tour 2018
Perched atop a dry-stacked native stone plinth on a rugged Central Texas hilltop, this new single family home juxtaposes passive, climate-adapted design, stark minimalism, and tantalizing details that pay homage to an unexpected muse: Prince.
Complimenting an austere backdrop of unadorned Venetian plaster and polished concrete floors, the home’s plan and elevation mirror the symmetry inspired by the “II” in its name. This balance continues throughout the main spaces: the rooms are not large but they are sufficient, a work space is offset by a kitchen peninsula, and appliances are hidden in an open pantry area which the homeowner curates.
Austerity in both design and materials flows from inside to outside, reflecting the owner’s desire to connect the home both visually and physically to the surrounding environment. Frameless, full-height glass flanks the house, creating visual continuity to the outdoors and flooding the home with light. Large doors, cross ventilation at corners, and 16 operable vent flaps distributed equally around the house and in each clerestory encourage natural regulation of temperature and air flow, allowing the house to remain comfortable in all seasons even without the use of air conditioning. A precisely placed pool fanned by hillside crosswinds provides natural cooling. Deep overhangs on all sides and outdoor loggia create the illusion of space, belying the low-impact size considerations that were made.
Throughout the house quiet nods to Prince abound, like secret shades of purple dotting an otherwise monotone palette, and a handrail modeled as an abstract interpretation of the symbol the artist used in his later career. Like Prince, the final product is both provocative and commanding, at once fearlessly transcending design rules while simultaneously honoring its minimalist Texan roots.
Welcome II the Dawn was featured on the 2018 AIA Austin Homes Tour.