Crystal Palace

Austin, Texas

Year Completed: 2020
Design Team: Winn Wittman, AIA
Mario Segovia
Joe Fisher
Jayan Prajapiti
Builder: Elev8

Located on a steep site with sweeping views of the Austin skyline, this house’s exterior takes on a faceted quality, with angular geometries and deep cantilevers to create a dynamic form. The clients—he a surgeon, and she a fashion and wellness entrepreneur—wanted a house that works for life with young kids, including a pool. Because of the site’s considerable challenges, the negative edge pool was placed to the side of the living room, rather than to the more typical rear, in order to avoid the cost of a massive retaining wall, and to secure a better angle of the spectacular downtown Austin view.

Travertine and gray stucco exteriors recall the international style of the Barcelona Pavilion and give a nod to the LBJ Library on the University of Texas campus. The tapered, blade-like roof boasts a dramatic 12-foot cantilever in all directions, shading the home and defining its silhouette. Two garages with black glass doors flank the house and frame the entry.  At the entry façade, a window wall is stenciled with a small hexagonal pattern that filters light and reduces solar load.

From the inside, the house seems to float above the landscape, with floor-to-ceiling glass taking advantage of the site’s dramatic drop-off by offering unobstructed panoramic views. Interiors are sleek and elegant, continuing the material and color palette from the exterior. In particular, the spa-like master bath flows openly from the bedroom, its large shower obscured behind a marble partition and accessible from two sides.

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