MT. BONNELL REMODEL

A 1981 multilevel house was remodeled and a freestanding art studio added for a young couple and their three dogs. Demolishing many existing interior walls in the 2,700 square-foot house provided the opportunity to create expansive, light-filled spaces. The new configuration opens the kitchen to the dining room and living room. Large openings of new aluminum windows offer balanced light and views.

With a limited budget, strategic gestures were made that update and simplify both the house's function and appearance. Horizontal galvanized corrugated metal siding modernized the exterior skin. The shape, proportion and scale of new door and window openings transform the building's face.

All interior materials: floors, ceilings and walls were replaced. The inexpensive and materially interesting rolling frosted plexi-glass doors efficiently partition rooms and provide flexibility. When open, the large-scale doors occupy minimal floor space while connecting and enlarging adjoining spaces. Playful openings between rooms add curiosity.

The house sits on a sloping site in a northwest neighborhood of Austin. By creating two level exterior areas adjacent to and on grade with the house, the architect extended living space outdoors. The art studio is positioned to further divide the upper terrace into two outdoor rooms. Broad concrete steps connect upper and lower terraces and provide generous seating for entertaining.

Office Project Team: Mell Lawrence & Krista Whitson

Contractor: Pilgrim Building Company

Structural Engineer: Steinman Leuvano


© Mell Lawrence Architects 2013
Photographs by Allison Cartwright