the autohaus is built for work, hobby and domestic life 


set in austin, texas, the autohaus residence by matt fajkus architecture accommodates a pair of former race car drivers who collect vintage cars and teach automotive restoration skills to disadvantaged youth. the project therefore expresses and blends the couple’s unique lifestyle by optimizing flexibility and wellbeing. ‘just as cars are interwoven with the owners’ daily lives, the home’s distinct masses are configured to create spatial overlap that further amplifies the blend of work, hobby, and domestic life,’ notes the architecture team. 

autohaus by matt fajkus architecture 10
the second floor is expressed as a single mass that floats above an open garage area



compact living spaces enveloped by an air-tight wall system


matt fajkus and his team characterized the autohaus with compact living quarters, expressed as a single mass that floats above an open garage area for flexible gathering and automobile calibration and display. indeed, the second-floor volume shifts forward to allow double-height views to the garage space at the back while creating a ground-level carport. this protruding feature is made possible by employing lightweight, insulated concrete composite blocks to create a wall system that exceeds the latest codes. with such an airtight and highly-insulated building envelope, the garage space achieves a high indoor environmental quality and durability. 

autohaus by matt fajkus architecture 2
the autohaus features compact living quarters enveloped by an air-tight wall system



a fully customized AND conscious design for greater wellbeing


beside air-tight insulation, the project articulates material and resource efficiency, full customization, on-site installation, high-end detailing, and an integrated design. to achieve those results, the architecture team collaborated with the contractor on-site to produce the custom steel doors and windows, introduced recycled materials, and minimized the use of concrete. additionally, the autohaus aims to increase its owners’ wellbeing through indoor-outdoor connections that provide ample natural light and ventilation while improving the usability of indoor spaces. the team also designed a future one-bedroom home for the aging owners that can be easily added inside the garage, allowing the autohaus to outlive its current use.

autohaus by matt fajkus architecture 3
roof deck above the garage in the autohaus

autohaus by matt fajkus architecture 4
the living room features a double-height volume open to the garage below

autohaus by matt fajkus architecture 11
an office is created by inserting a wood clad volume between the living areas and bedroom

autohaus by matt fajkus architecture 6
a skylight in the stairwell illuminates both the steps and living space

autohaus by matt fajkus architecture 12
hovering living quarters form an everyday carport in front of the autohaus





project info:


name: autohaus

location: austin, texas,

completion year: 2017

architecture: matt fajkus  architecture

design team: matt fajkus, david birt, sarah wassel

general contractor: risinger & co

first floor walls: bautex systems 

AV: smarter homes

structural engineering: ARCH consulting engineers
photography: charles davis smith FAIA, perfecto creative, casey woods, matt fajkus architecture




designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom