tree house by matt fajkus architecture in austin, texas
all images courtesy of matt fajkus architecture

 

 

 

balanced shade, dappled sunlight, and canopy views are the basis of matt fajkus architecture‘s ‘tree house’ in austin, texas. composed of crisply-detailed, considered materials, surfaces, and finishes, the home is a balance of elegance and restraint. the two-storey massing is designed to allow for a bold yet humble street presence, while each single-storey wing extends through the site, forming intimate outdoor and indoor spaces. 

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
the carport at sunset

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
exterior view of front yard and dappled light at carport

 

 

 

in plan, the residence is organized into clear zones of public and private functions, allowing the center courtyard with the primary tree to negotiate the connection between either realm. this particular area terraces down to the yard, acting as a natural place for gatherings and performances. ‘the layout is arranged to optimize function and experience, where each daily behavior is considered in connection with the next, resulting in a holistic and flowing composition, rather than just a collection of rooms,’ says the studio.

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
Preserved oak is centrally located with the house. 

 

 

 

the two-storey ‘window wall’ maximizes the use of inexpensive fenestration systems, which frame various views to the tree while creating a rich elevation and allowing for the harvesting of daylight to the entry zone. the upper portion of the surface tapers and folds back as it reaches the floating white box of stucco. this gesture allows the plant’s canopy to extend and grow above the children’s bedrooms.

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
window wall at entry hall

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
various views to the tree are framed by the fenestration

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
(left) wood and tile make up the stair treads and risers
(right) entry hall with window wall to yard facing stairs 

 

 

 

composed as a functional container for life, the circulation is intended for passage and informal activities, rather than corridors. the master suite is as much about its opening to the small yard as it is about the enclosed space it captures. the tongue-and-groove wood ceiling is an accent which continues to the exterior soffit, blurring the lines between interior and exterior.

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
master suite opens up onto the back yard with preserved oak and window wall beyond 

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
the tongue-and-groove wood ceiling is an accent

 

 

 

an integrated board formed concrete planter denotes a spatial separation between the living room and the kitchen/dining area, while still allowing connection between the overlapping realms. the skylight allows natural light to penetrate deep into the space. according to the architects, ‘this design is carefully calibrated to allow internal views on the small lot and various amounts of direct and indirect natural light. each space has more than one type of opening to allow for various connections to the outside and thus nature.’

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
kitchen and dining area

matt fajkus architecture tree house austin texas designboom
living room

 

 

project info:

 

project name: tree house
architect: matt fajkus architecture
project manager: travis cook
design team: travis cook, matt fajkus (AIA), david birt
design support: thomas johnston
general contractor: brodie builders
structural engineer: smith structural engineers
photography: brian mihealsick, bryant hill, twist tours
motorcycles: ducati | MV agusta austin
chevy truck: ron barnes
chevy nova: christian leerberg
windows: milgard thermally improved aluminum
gas range: bertazzoni
location: austin, texas, USA
area: 2,764 sqft / 257 sqm
completed: 2014

 

 

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.