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Austin, TX / 2200 SF / Historic Residence Renovation and Addition

Within its historic urban neighborhood adjacent to the campus of the University of Texas, the Maiden House presented an opportunity to blend Austin’s rich architectural heritage with the city’s current embrace of vibrant, modern design. The starting point was a 1920 bungalow which has maintained its character and detailing over the decades of its life.

The floor plan was restructured into a new configuration better suited to the needs of a modern family, while the existing woodwork, windows, and flooring were maintained and refurbished with care. At the rear of the house, the dilapidated porch structure was removed, and in its place a new kitchen and dining nook were added that act as an open link between the historic house and its modern addition. Stepping down a half-story to provide elevated ceilings and large expanses of glass, the addition hosts a new family room and master suite with access to the rear yard.

The architecture of the project is a study in contrasts both subtle and sharp. The new wing takes its shape from the given geometry of the existing house, and its stucco exterior borrows the soft green of the historic wood siding. But the form of the addition acts as a sculptural play, reminiscent of a block of stone that has been carved and split open, in dialogue with the planar character of the wood-framed main house. Inside, through a series of sequential spaces the warm historic character of the existing architecture gradually opens into the light-filled, elementally detailed enclosure of the addition beyond. Where these two characters meet, old and new are woven and stitched together and expressed with the play of the glazed side entry and frameless corner window at the kitchen which provides a broad, light-dappled view out into the property’s private garden.

This project was completed in collaboration with Liz MacPhail Interiors in Austin, Texas.

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