Located on a hillside in Austin, Texas, the Lake View Residence by local firm Alterstudio Architecture is sandwiched between a grove of mature live oak trees and a view of the nearby 200-acre Bright Leaf Preserve. Floor-to-ceiling glazing in the open-plan house captures a vista of the protected wildlife area, and thanks to the structure's thin profile (it's only one room deep in most areas), those same spaces also overlook the trees at the front of the wedge-shaped property.
The entrance is tucked behind a curved enclosure clad in 2x6 and 2x2 cedar boards, which were custom milled for tongue-and-groove installation to minimize visible hardware and stained to contrast with the white masonry of the other volumes. Indoors and out are connected by a white ceiling plane that continues from the porch into the living spaces; the wood continues inside as well with custom-designed cabinetry, paneling, and millwork throughout, all using reclaimed or FSC-certified materials. The house is sited for optimal natural ventilation and cross-breezes, but it also is outfitted with a geothermal HVAC system and a photovoltaic array, as well as tankless water heaters. —Katie Gerfen