Adult Tree Houses

Creative & Eco-Friendly Neighborhood in Austin, Texas

by Kris Ferraro, principal, Lucky Break PR

At the Clawson Development in Austin, Texas, eight beautiful homes are set on a one-acre lot shrouded in live oak trees.  Mark Odom Studio, Austin, subdivided this one-acre, heavily treed property to become four duplex lots, equaling eight individual residences along a shared drive.  Each duplex was designed around adjacent trees and desirable views, highlighting specific site amenities per unit. And while the building form and materials are similar across the project, each unit has its own unique characteristics that create individuality from building to building. Privacy and views have been carefully planned so that there’s no interruption when wanting to enjoy the interior and exterior of each home. 

         The one-acre project site, which originally housed just one single-family home, was divided into four separate lots, commonly known as an infill.  “This type of build strategically densifies an underutilized parcel of land while keeping the same scale of the neighborhood,” explained Mark Odom, founding principal of Mark Odom Studio.

         The buildings were planned with every sustainable notion possible, including proper sound-transmittance ratings, cross-ventilation, and little impact on the existing site and trees.  These sustainability practices intertwine the natural world with a man-made one. The landscape promotes social engagement among property owners, creating pleasant opportunities for neighbors to engage and meet.

         “Existing trees were used not only as focal points for each building, but also for various interior rooms, nestling each structure around the patterned landscape,” said Odom of the unique approach. “Room and window placement was then key so that each structure could take full advantage of its placement in the natural landscape and still maintain privacy from neighbors.”

         To turn a house into a tree house, Odom and his team worked hard to bring the outdoors inside, utilizing windows, balconies, and glass doors throughout to allow for views of the existing tree canopies. It’s a technique that defines much of the team’s design ethos.  This results in eight unique floor plans in either two-bedroom or three-bedroom options. Though different in design, each of the eight condos has a trademark modern style built out with high-end finishes, cement floors, and pops of wood and steel.

         In order to see this whimsical project come to life, Mark Odom Studio worked together with Little City Development, Austin; MJ Structural Engineers, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Acero Construction, Austin.  “Our Clawson project not only delivers eight quality condo homes, but also an intimate pocket community where one single-family home once existed.  Densifying our neighborhoods through creative design without sacrificing quality, natural surroundings, or character,” said Odom.

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