Mid-Century Design

Stunning Light-Filled Home in Austin, Texas

by Kris Ferraro, principal, Lucky Break PR

The Inglewood Courtyard Residence, a 2,400 sq.ft. light-filled home, was designed around an entry sequence and circulation pathway that focuses on the courtyard and natural light.  The existing trees were an integral element in the design of the home, both in terms of site preservation and heightening the relationship between the interior and exterior. 

all photos courtesy of Casey Dunn

         The homeowner, who was also the civil engineer on the project, has a deep appreciation for mid-century architecture and expressed wanting all the elements you would find in a quintessential mid-century home.  Vertical windows set into the masonry walls; views into lush and inviting courtyards; exterior materials used on the interior; indoor planters; slatted screen walls; and, of course, terrazzo floors.  The terrazzo floors were a tremendous team building experience, as 1,800 lbs. of various colored glass was hand spread into the three-tiered foundation as the concrete was setting up.  The finished floor is truly a-one-of-a-kind finish that won’t be duplicated.

         An abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows lines each space.  Terraced zones are created internally that help strengthen the interior programming as well as maintain visual perspective.  A continuous brick wall acts as a circulation spine and moves through the center showcasing the north-south axis of the house and connects each space.  

         “The intended experience is to feel continuously connected with nature while moving through the house,” said Mark Odom, Mark Odom Studio, Austin.  “The design inspiration was based on the courtyard house, centered around the existing trees as well as making sure natural light spilled into all interior spaces.”

         The size of the house is subtle, staying sensitive to its residential location and choices to preserve the site’s natural resources.  Sustainable building methods and materials were used throughout.  “The most challenging aspect of this light-filled house was combining clean aesthetics with structural strength and energy efficiency,” said builder Doug Cameron of EcoSafe Spaces, Austin.

         The home has a variety of other fun details throughout the space, both interior and exterior.  The turquoise color of the front door was inspired by the client’s appreciation of a vintage El Camino in the classic blue/aqua of the era.  Additionally, the build incorporated repurposed wooden bookshelves into the master corridor that originally came from the client’s father’s classroom.  The mid-century aesthetic is captured on the exterior of the home, as the low-pitched roofs are covered with a pebbled ballast, a feature of 1950’s homes. 

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