A non-descript builder ranch house in a close-in South Austin neighbourhood gets a decidedly modern living room addition and a minor interior update. Taking direct cues from 50's modern designs and the existing wood framed carport, the glassed-in room spreads into the spacious backyard with a new foundation and steel framed pavilion.
Serving as a temperate weather living-room, finely attuned to the elements, large custom steel and insulated glass barn-doors roll back to open the corner of the space to the outdoors. Generous 4' overhangs protect the glass walls from mid-day heat, while the clerestory windows of the new dining area open to allow for passive ventilation.
A modest light-filled 3/4 bath does double duty as a laundry room and serves as a solid back-drop for the new top-lit dining area adjacent to the existing vintage kitchen and its stained mahogony ply cabinets. A new ovesized steel and glass pocket door opens up the brick wall around the existing back door to allow for easy entertaining and connection to the new social spaces.
The existing living room vaults up to the underside of the existing roof and allows for a new bank of North-facing clerestories to bring much needed light to the original living area of the house. The small existing bar gets shifted and expanded to a proper sized bar at the center of the new layout.
What was a rather tidy functional home in untouched condition, the simple box gets re-worked into an ambitious re-imagining and distillation of the mid-century vocabulary and in so doing, changes the way the home responds to it's direct surroundings. No longer a passive container for living, the home becomes an active participant in the life of the owner through its registering of light and shadow and its direct responses to the overall climate through the opening up of its glass walls.