Tower House perches atop a hill overlooking Lake Travis, one of Austin’s man-made lakes created by the Marshall Ford Dam across Texas’ Colorado River. The building is a free-standing addition to a 1930s summer cabin, constructed from local limestone.
“When we first saw it, it was a simple building with one large room, a little sleeping room, kitchen and a porch facing the water,” said Andersson-Wise. “Our clients came to us with the request to expand the cabin with an additional two bedrooms with baths and larger living area for larger groups to gather in.”
“Rather than add onto the old cabin, we chose instead to open it up inside and site the new bedroom quarters remotely on the site,” the local studio added.
The residence mostly contains bedrooms, and is clad in massaranduba wood that is stained to an almost reflective silver-grey finish.
A stairway re-orients itself on each floor, and is open to nature by acting as a buffer between the interior rooms and exterior siding.
The ground and first floors have the same layouts with a bedroom and en-suite bathroom off a small, interior foyer.
On the second storey is a shaded deck, with a wet bar and panoramic views of the lake.
The residence was built without air-conditioning, but the stairway and large corner windows control most of the airflow.
Birch plywood covered the inside walls, with medium-stained timber lining the floor.
Tower House is barely visible from the thicket of local oak and cedar trees, but it can be seen poking above the foliage from the lake.
Andersson-Wise was founded in 2001 by architects Arthur W Andersson and F Christian Wise. The firm has since also completed two boat houses in Austin, one designed to be off-grid and another constructed from salvaged materials, as well as a cordwood cabin with a grassy roof in Montana.
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