Location: Austin, Texas
Architects: Matt Fajkus Architecture
Project Manager: Sarah Johnson
Design Team: Sarah Johnson; Matt Fajkus, AIA; David Birt; Ian Ellis; Garland Fielder
Structural Engineering: Smith Structural Engineers
Interior Design: Studio Tupelo
General Contractor: Wall to Wall Construction
Rug: Kyle Bunting
Dining Room Artwork: Ty Clark
Logistics: Nitsche Events
Photography: © Charles Davis Smith
Located on a small triangular lot near Bull Creek in Austin, this house addition was required to comply with complex ordinance regulations which drastically constrain the possibility to add area to an 800 square-foot house originally built in the 1950’s. The house design embraces these constraints, rather than fighting them, to create a truly unique house and experience.
The addition of a new master bedroom suite was to be configured within the acute angle of the triangular lot, while the entry/dining space is simply an expansion of the existing living/entry area on the wider portion of the property. The limits of the triangular lot were further compounded by the setback requirements for a corner lot, which required a 15′ side-yard setback making a single-story addition almost impossible. Budget optimization, however, made a single-story scheme more advantageous, so we petitioned to the city’s Board of Adjustment for a 10′ setback, which was granted. These constraints were influential in the creation of an articulate, yet humble and respectful addition to the original house.
New roof geometry and corollary clerestory windows are key components of the design, allowing natural light to reach the full depth of each space in nuanced ways. The original, simple gable structure was kept intact and articulated as a crisp white box to juxtapose the wood-lined, glass box additions for the master suite and the dining/entry space. Wood windows and tall gable ceilings offset the original interior from the compressed, cypress-lined, glassy spaces of the additions. The articulation of new versus old is further emphasized by the natural light that pierces through the clerestory windows at points of connection. At all times, one is aware of the conceptual principles of the project.
Matt Fajkus Architecture
All images courtesy of Matt Fajkus Architecture
Matt Fajkus Architecture
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.
Matt Fajkus Architecture LLC
900 East 6th Street, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78702
P : 512 . 432 . 5137
E : email@example.com