Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Architects: Matt Fajkus Architecture
Project Manager: Alberto Rodriguez
Design Team: Matt Fajkus, David Birt
General Contractor: Risher Martin Fine Homes
Interior Design: Michelle Tumlin Design
Photography: © Leonid Furmansky
When the eventual owners first visited the existing Alan Taniguchi house in Austin’s Westlake Hills, they knew right away this was the home they wanted to live in. Sited high in the hills, the original house was designed with balcony/deck access in every single room, opening up to the nature and tranquility just minutes away from downtown Austin. The 90’s home, however, desperately needed an update as well as an addition to accommodate their needs.
The remodel and addition respects the strong qualities of the existing structure and site, while enhancing it and supplementing it with additional development. The renovation portion includes a complete update of interior and exterior finishes to achieve a fresh aesthetic with clean lines. Wood and stone compliment the freshly-painted white stucco from the outside, while the interior finishes are kept simple to accentuate the sweeping views of the rolling hills. The design reworks the kitchen area for an articulated yet open kitchen/dining experience, and features flush panel walnut cabinets, white Silestone countertops waterfall edge island, and sleek Wolf appliances.
As a film producer/editor from Los Angeles, the husband needed a workspace that could be separated from the domestic life. A freestanding structure was added which acts as both a studio and a pool house. The new live/work space defines the southern edge of the pool with adjacent hot tub and BBQ area, squaring up the courtyard which was also re-designed to suit the family’s lifestyle and act as the unifying element between the buildings. The additional structure is strategically positioned to frame views to the pool, the hills, and the cactus-filled slope in the back. A wood-clad accent wall extends from the wood deck, further emphasizing the indoor-outdoor connection, with a sequence of covered patios connecting the addition to the main house. The intention is to be as much a platform to experience the surrounding landscape as it is a container to enable the flow of daily work and live functions.
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
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