RE-OPEN HOUSE by Matt Fajkus Architecture

Location: Austin, Texas | Phase: Completion 2017 | Architecture Team: Sarah Johnson, Matt Fajkus, David Birt | General Contractor: Texas Construction Company | Structural Engineer: JM Structural | Interior Design: Joel Mozersky Design | Photography: Charles Davis Smith, FAIA, Leonid Furmansky, Twist Tours

This Central Austin house was remodeled in the spirit of the original Mid-Century Modern house, with an open plan, honest natural materials, and a direct connection to nature. A balance of natural light, simple materials, and functional flows are integrated with controlled views and atmospheric variation. Respect for the original home’s scale and stylistic origins lead to a house which is appropriate and celebrated within its neighborhood context and expressive of the owner’s personality and collections. Collaboration with the owner, who had already lived in the original home for 10 years, further rooted the design both aesthetically and within the neighborhood.

The design opens the house up by not only by unifying the common areas, but also by raising the original roof line over the kitchen, dining, and living area. The original pitched roof geometry was maintained in an effort to co-exist harmoniously with the existing gabled roof over the private zone. Through merely consolidating the service core, both public and private zones became more desirable by allowing for a completely open planned public zone with a generous ceiling height and clerestory windows on the south, west and north sides. The kitchen is seen as part of the open social space of the home, rather than part of the service core, and thus includes floor-to-ceiling windows which create connection with both the neighborhood and the back patio and yard.

Connection to the outdoors guided the material and structural treatment of the renovations. The exposed roof structure helps to define each interior function while also extending outside the exterior walls, drawing the eye to the surrounding tree canopies through the clerestory windows. The tongue and groove wood ceiling also continues out to the exterior soffits to visually dissolve the limits of enclosure. The clerestory maintains the sense of privacy from the street in the living and dining areas, while allowing for ample natural light to fill the house. Intimate patios for both public and private areas encourage the experience and function of the home to extend beyond the limits of the enclosure.

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.


TEAM MF Architecture

Matt Fajkus Architecture LLC
900 East 6th Street, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78702
P : 512 . 432 . 5137
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For more information on Matt Fajkus Architecture, you can view their website here:

Matt Fajkus Architecture


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