Location: Austin,Texas, USA
Size: 2000 sf
Architects: Murray Legge Architecture
Design Team: Murray Legge, Lincoln Davidson, Travis Avery, Benjamin Kaplowitz, Luca Senise
Builder: Green Places
Engineering: Duffy Engineering
Photography: © Leonid Furmansky
This project began with two families purchasing a large Central Austin property and subdividing it into two narrow lots to build new homes on – we were hired to design one of the homes. The clients, a young creative couple with two small children, wanted a modest house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and ample living spaces with strong connections to private outdoor rooms.
The site is in a bustling neighborhood, near a major university, so the house was set on the site to create a private side-yard the family could use as an extension of the main living space. A wall in front of the house creates a private courtyard off of the front rooms and protects them from view. Meanwhile a tectonic screen porch sits in the backyard, in contrast with the solid mass of the house in front.
The house is a mass that is carved – creating deep, shaded, openings that connect to the outside. The entire building is rendered in natural grey stucco, producing a solid sculptural form. Shadows from the surrounding trees play across its surface throughout the day.
The ground floor plan is conceived as a series of open interconnected spaces arranged around a central stair and utility core. The spaces are divided by Douglas Fir cabinetry, with a continuous ceiling. The cabinets divide the space into various uses (kitchen, study, living, and TV room) while maintaining the feeling of a large open room. An internal light-well brings daylight into the center of the house and connects the two floors, creating a surprising vertical opening through the house.
The second floor contains all three bedrooms, connected by a “bridge” that overlooks the kitchen. Each bedroom has direct access to an exterior patio or deck. “Pop ups” on the roof bring in plentiful daylight from above and create compelling space in otherwise small rooms.
Murray Legge Architecture
All images courtesy of Murray Legge Architecture
Murray Legge Architecture
Murray Legge is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York City. His professional achievements include receiving the 2006 AIA Austin Young Architectural Professional Award as well as more than 20 design awards, including two national AIA awards and the Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award. Winner of the prestigious Lyceum Fellowship, he was also twice a finalist in Van Alen Institute competitions, including the Paris Prize. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has also been a visiting critic.
Murray is also a co-founder of Legge Lewis Legge, an interdisciplinary collaborative, based in Austin and New York. With a focus on large-scale installations, public art and landscape design, Legge Lewis Legge has been widely recognized including receiving the 2010 Austin Art in Public Places Community Arts Award. The studio received an honorable mention in the international design competition for the Flight 93 memorial and was a finalist in the Boston Logan Airport 9/11 memorial competition. Legge Lewis Legge is currently working on a project for Dallas Arboretum.
Learn more about Murray Legge Architecture
1701 Emilie Lane Unit B
Austin, TX 78731
Phone: 512 596 2933