overland partners, san antonio

This lakeside house, like a family, has its secrets and surprises. The facade's simple stone wall gives few clues to the complexity of spaces inside. "The clients didn't want it to be a house that, from the street, people said, 'Oh, look at that big house,'" explains project architect Todd Walbourn. "Our response was to sink it into the ground, build a stone wall as a delineator between the public and private realm, and pierce it with a gate."

Behind that wall, the architects avoided a one-liner—"there's the water, there's the house"—by creating a series of contemplative, entertaining, and recreational zones that open and close the viewer to life on the lake. The courtyard garden provides a meditative setting, while an outdoor gallery links the living room, game room, and boathouse. The deep, shady porches give way to stone terraces set at the water's edge.

The shape of a nearby granite outcropping inspired the house's massing from taller down to lower spaces, and up again. And the combination of natural materials—concrete, stone, and galvanized metal—blends the inside and out. The judges liked the way the house fully occupies its site. "It's fresh and unique," they said, "with a nice facade and entry."

project architects: Richard M. Archer, FAIA, and Todd Walbourn, Overland Partners
general contractor: Henry Duecker, Henry Duecker Construction, Fredericksburg, Texas
landscape architect: Bud Twilley, Bud Twilley Landscapes, Austin, Texas
project size: 3,700 square feet
site size: 0.75 acre
construction cost: $186 per square foot
photographer: Overland Partners