Autohaus by MF Architecture
Location: Austin, Texas, US
Phase: Completion 2017
Architects: MF Architecture
Project Manager: David Birt
Design Team: Matt Fajkus, AIA, David Birt, Sarah Wassel, Jooyoung Kim
General Contractor: Risinger & Co
First Floor Walls: Bautex Systems
Structural Engineer: ARCH Consulting Engineers
AV: Smarter Homes
Staging & Styling: Nitsche Events
The Autohaus is a car collectors’ garage and residence in central Texas. The design features compact living quarters, expressed as a single mass, floating above an open area for flexible gathering and automobile calibration/display. The second floor volume is shifted forward to allow for double-height views to the garage space at the back, while creating an everyday carport beneath the hovering bed chamber in the front. The twenty-foot cantilever is made possible by W30x116 steel beams, and a light-filled stairwell provides physical access between the two volumes. Custom-made steel and glass sliding doors open up the living space to a large roof terrace surrounded by tree canopies, enabling indoor/outdoor living in an urban setting.
A collaborative design and construction process was key to the project. The Matt Fajkus Architecture team worked with the general contractor, Risinger Homes, to design, fabricate, and install the large custom steel doors and windows. A makeshift steel fabrication and paint shop was temporarily set up inside the house’s garage during construction. The doors and windows were built in-house on the ground floor before their installation in its floating living quarters. This process allowed for greater quality control, high-end craftsmanship, full customization, and immediate installation, to produce a structure for a unique function and equally unique living experience.
All images courtesy of MF Architecture
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.