Project: 1 Hillside
Architects: Tim Cuppett Architects
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Area: 3,795 sq ft
Photographs by: Whit Preston
1 Hillside by Tim Cuppett Architects
Tim Cuppett Architects have designed a family home in Austin, Texas with a rather unique camp-like exterior design.
1 Hillside is a 4,000 square feet residence that is influenced by the natural landscape around it. It has a pool terrace with a large screened porch that intends to make the most out of its natural environment.
Due to the narrow nature of the lot on which this home is built, it was conceived as a series of volumes that follow the shape of the land.
The site is a one acre, narrow slice of hillside just blocks above bustling South Congress Ave with
tree top views of downtown. Rock outcroppings and native vegetation envelope the property,
consistent with the casual, un-manicured character of its neighborhood.
Aside from the opportunities presented by a narrow sloping site, the largest character defining
parameter for the house was the dichotomy of owner interests: he, a musician, internet
entrepreneur who wanted a modern white box with views of downtown and she, a yoga-practicing
mid-wife who wanted a barn with animals. Solving simultaneously the response to site and client,
the solution embraces and exploits the depth and slope ofthe land.
From street level, one climbs a stair through a stone plinth to an elevated terrace captured by the
main house, screened porch and a grove of Live Oaks. The slender mass is drawn out along the
property’s length to avoid protected trees which provide privacy from neighbors. Only the screened
porch projects out to capture prevailing breeze and afford uninterrupted views through the site.
At the center of the home, a large multifold door shared by kitchen/dining and porch can be opened
to provide true outdoor living protected from ever-present mosquitoes. The dining room’s double
height interior volume w/ventilating skylight draws fresh air up and through the house. This solar
chimney, along with the connectedness of the screened porch to the main living space, and the wide
brim-like overhangs enable passive cooling through temperate seasons.
The material palette both inside and out was chosen with owner interests and neighborhood
context in mind. The slurried stone and rustic, shou sugi ban siding melt comfortably into the
overgrown landscape along Hillside Avenue while thin steel details and large expanses of glazing
cater to more modern sensibilities. So too on the inside, slick white walls and large expanses of
glass are paired with v-groove millwork, claw foot tub and quilt- inspired tile installations.
The result is a composition of buildings which reinforce a camp-like aesthetic gathered around
heritage live oaks. Both modern and rustic the house celebrates the “spirit ofits place.”