Custom Home, 3,000 to 5,000 square feet / Merit Award
It's a long way from Tuscany to Texas, but this Austin compound bridges the distance. The buff-colored stone walls and exposed timber roof framing would look as much at home on an Italian hillside as they do here in the Texas Hill Country. The walled entry courtyard, terraced landscaping, and open-air living spaces reflect an outdoor orientation common to both architectural traditions, but Austin architect Dick Clark renders these traditional themes in a distinctly Modernist light. The simple, almost monochromatic palette of materials creates a crisp, contemporary feeling. Details are sharp-edged and free of trim. The black metal of the doors, window frames, stair railings, and timber connections stands out boldly against the muted colors of stone, wood, and ceramic tile.
Our judges called this “a very handsome, inviting house,” admiring its “very clear connection to the region,” its “strong relationships between interior and exterior,” and its air of “quiet and understatement.” One judge described it as a “transitional” building: “It's not totally modern, and it's not quite traditional. This is a fine example of what that can be. I think it's a great update of the Texan vernacular.”