Tower House by Andersson Wise Architects
Andersson Wise Architects have designed a modern residence in Austin, Texas, called the Tower House, for obvious reasons.
This tower shaped dwelling is a result of the client’s request for a larger home with additional bedrooms, baths and living areas. Instead of extending the old limestone cabin, the architects decided to create a brand new vertical home that rises up out of the forest, providing stunning views of Lake Travis.
In considering an addition to the original, stone lodge at this Lake Travis property, the notion of a tower was born out of several factors: taking advantage of views, minimizing the footprint on the site, and accommodating the rising flood plain elevation.
There are a few small limestone cabins from the 1930’s located along Lake Travis, the longest of the Highland Lakes that terrace the hill country west of Austin, and they are used primarily in the summer. One such cabin sits on a slope rising from the water under a canopy of native oaks and cedars. It had one large room, a little sleeping room, a kitchen, and a porch facing the water.
Our clients requested two additional bedrooms with baths and a living area for larger groups to gather. We chose to locate the new sleeping quarters in a separate tower. Two small bedrooms occupy the first and second floors. Above, a third level terrace opens to a panorama of the lake and distant rolling hills. On this terrace, some thirty feet above the ground, even the hottest summer afternoon can be enjoyed under a roof open to the prevailing breezes blowing in from the lake. The original stone cabin is now juxtaposed with a vertical tower of wood, rising up out of the forest and into the bright Texas sky. The Tower draws you up to see the lake, barely visible at ground level through the thicket of trees.