Location: Austin, Texas, US
Area: 450 sqm
HGTV Faces of Design Awards Finalist, 2017
Architects: Matt Fajkus Architecture
Project Manager: Travis Cook, Jayson Kabala
Design Team: Matt Fajkus, AIA, David Birt, Jayson Kabala, Travis Cook
General Contractor: Brodie Builders
Landscape Architect: Open Envelope Studio
Interior Designer: Joel Mozersky
Charles Davis Smith
Spaces and Faces Photography
Incorporating the site’s dynamic landscape into the daily life of its residents, the [Bracketed Space] House is designed as a meaningfully-framed procession through the property with nuanced natural lighting throughout. A continuous and jogging retaining wall from outside to inside embeds the structure below natural grade at the front with flush transitions at its rear facade. All indoor spaces open up to a courtyard which terraces down to the tree canopy, creating a readily visible and occupiable transitional space between man-made and nature.
The courtyard scheme is simplified by the common and private wings – connected by a glass dining “bridge.” This transparent volume also visually connects the front yard to the courtyard, clearing for the prospect view, while maintaining a subdued street presence. The staircase acts as a vertical “knuckle,” mediating shifting wing angles while contrasting the predominant horizontality of the house.
Matt Fajkus Architecture
All images courtesy of Matt Fajkus Architecture
Plans, Model, Rendering
Matt Fajkus, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Founder & Principal Architect
Tenured Associate Professor, UT Austin School of Architecture
Director of Graduate Program in Sustainable Design
Master in Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design
A native of Austin, Matt Fajkus holds a Master in Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he completed his thesis work with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo. Before going independent in 2010 and establishing MF Architecture, Fajkus achieved significant experience in architectural practice. While working for the world-renowned firm Foster + Partners in London for several years, he worked on the design of numerous high-profile, international large-scale projects. Starting at firms in 1998, he also worked on numerous small-scale award-winning projects while with Max Levy Architects in Dallas, Brinkley Sargent Architects, and Julie Snow Architects in Minneapolis. In 2012, Fajkus was awarded two AIA National Emerging Professional Awards.
In addition to leading MF Architecture, Fajkus is a Tenured Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where he teaches courses in design, technology, daylighting and integrated sustainability. In 2013 he was recognized with the University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award – the highest teaching honor awarded by the entire school system. Additionally in 2013, Fajkus was presented with the Faculty Scholarship Award for Innovative Practice, and the ACSA/AIAS National New Faculty Teaching Award in 2012. He has co-authoring a book titled Architectural Science and the Sun, which is currently under contract with Routledge Publishers.
Fajkus is a LEED Accredited Professional and a licensed architect in the State of Texas. Fajkus was named the winner of the Engineering, Architecture and Design category at the 17th Austin Under 40 Award in 2015, and the winner of AIA Austin’s Emerging Professional Achievement Honor Award in 2017.