Tucked away among dense vegetation on a steep site in West Austin, the Vista Residence captures a sense of exploration and discovery. Designed for a couple nearing retirement age, the home’s many spaces and experiences are gradually revealed in spectacular fashion.
Outside, a series of outdoor spaces defined by massive concrete walls draw visitors in. Exposed concrete, metal, and concrete panel cladding—chosen for their durability and ease of maintenance—are the predominant materials. The distinct roof profiles provide directionality, essentially “pointing” to the views beyond.
Inside, a three-story staircase constructed of 5/8” thick plate steel acts as a hingepoint for the home, with rooms and hallways unfolding from it on every floor. From the spaces around it, the stair provides a dramatic focal point, revealing itself in curious and contradictory ways. Depending on the viewpoint, it can appear massive and structural, or light enough to float.
A two-story courtyard brings natural light into the core of the house and provides a buffer for the master suite. The master bedroom is enclosed on three sides, emphasizing the view outward, while the master bath opens up to a private garden.
The open kitchen, dining, and living spaces were designed for large family gatherings as well as fundraisers and public events. The kitchen combines warm white oak millwork with crisp white solid surface accents. In the living room, acoustic wood ceiling panels enhance the sound quality and provide visual warmth, while built-in benches provide ample seating.
The lower floor hosts bedrooms and a media/game room in addition to service spaces; finishes such as exposed concrete and playful accents denote the more laid-back, intimate atmosphere. The upstairs office enjoys panoramic views of the hill country and downtown Austin. Here above the treetops, the home’s spectacular location is experienced most vividly as the journey culminates with a sweeping vista.