Launch Slideshow

Austin, Texas, Outdoor Pavilion

Austin, Texas, Outdoor Pavilion

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    2008 Merit Award - Outdoor Pavilion, Austin, Texas
    Entrant/Architect: Steinbomer & Associates Architects, Austin, Texas; Builder: MG Construction Works, Austin

    Though only 620 square feet, this backyard pavilion serves as pool house, guesthouse, office, retreat, entertainment space, and ancillary art gallery for the art dealers who own it.

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    The strip of black river rock that separates the pavilion deck from the pool and encircles the spa is both functional and handsome. It collects water from the roof and prevents pool and spa water from splashing onto the pavilion deck.

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    Sapele veneer wraps the pavilion's wet core, which contains the kitchenette (shown), Murphy bed on the opposite side, and bathroom inside. Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors stack to open the space to the terrace.

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    The judges admired the way the ceiling seemed to float above the ribbon of clerestory windows. The pavilion's two solid walls provide a gallery for paintings.

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    The sleek interior bath is accessible from the interior and from the exterior, through the shower which serves both inside and outside.

Packing an oversized programmatic wallop, this 620-square-foot pavilion serves as the owners' pool house, guest-house, office, ancillary art gallery (they're art dealers), retreat, and entertainment space. And if that weren't enough, the pavilion also improves the view from the great room of their 1950s ranch house.

Despite the density of uses, architect Robert Steinbomer kept the building light, open, and airy. Supported by slim steel columns and the central utility core, the pavilion's steel-and-wood-framed roof floats above a ribbon of clerestory windows and full-height stacking glass doors. The core, sheathed in galvanized steel panels on the exterior and sepele veneer on the interior, separates the sitting area from the guest bedroom and contains a kitchenette, stainless steel bathroom, utility closet, and Murphy bed. Outside, it wraps the outdoor shower, which is accessible to the bathroom.

The pavilion's two solid walls form a gallery where the owners can display their art collection. The walls seamlessly transition from drywall inside to highly smooth cement stucco outside that perfectly matches the interior texture. The aggregate concrete floor of the pavilion also crosses the divide from indoors to out. Its ground and polished surface extends out to the precise geometry of the tapered, cantilevered deck and toward the pool. A handsome and functional strip of black river rock separates the pavilion deck from the pool deck and encircles the spa. It collects water from the roof and prevents pool and spa water from splashing onto the pavilion deck.

The jury admired the pavilion's clean Modernism, citing the floating roof, the way the soffit moves through the building, the skillful assembly of a limited kit of parts, and the clarity of the beautiful composition.

Project Credits
Entrant/Architect:
Steinbomer & Associates Architects, Austin, Texas
Builder: MG Construction Works, Austin
Project size: 620 square feet
Site: .5 acre
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Thomas McConnell
Illustrator: Harry Whitver

Resources: Bathroom plumbing fittings/fixtures: Metro, Vola; Dishwasher: GE; Exterior siding: Sto; Fire pit: Gas Products Co.; Garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator; HVAC equipment: Trane; Insulation: Owens Corning; Kitchen plumbing fittings: Vola; Lighting fixtures: Lightolier, W.A.C. Lighting; Patio doors: Fleetwood; Refrigerator: GE; Skylights: Velux; Tile: Bisazza, StoneSource.