Organized around a walled courtyard that provides its interiors with shelter and privacy, Casa Ithualli (which translates to “Patio House” in the ancient Nahuatl language) emphasizes direct access to outdoor spaces and natural light while using ordinary materials in novel ways.
Located in a compact urban neighborhood where homes are built right up to the property lines, Casa Ithualli strikes a balance between the need for privacy and security and a sense of openness and transparency. A solid concrete wall wraps into the main entry. Above, a screen of white metal pipes creates a gradient from the private interior spaces to the open-air courtyard, which features a rectangular pool and a grassy lawn shaded by an oak tree.
In the living room, a double-height glass curtainwall maximizes views to the courtyard on one side, and a narrow garden on the other. A bent steel staircase leads to a glass-walled media loft. Meanwhile, a pair of doors provides access to a common area containing the kitchen, breakfast room, family room, and outdoor dining area. The second level contains two bedrooms and the master suite—all with views to the street and/or the gardens and patios that ring the structure.
Sustainable features include double-wall construction; Duo Vent windows; a prefabricated, lightweight concrete structure; and a 2-kiloWatt rooftop solar array.
Design Award of Merit, AIA Austin