Floating Box House

Location: Austin, Texas

Year: 2006

Size: 12,000 sf

Standing amid a grove of two hundred landmarked live oaks, significant portions of this house were built below grade to maintain the rural landscape of the site. Between the ground plane and the floating box is an entirely transparent glassed enclosure that gives the living room, dining room, and kitchen unobstructed views of the natural surroundings on one side and the Austin skyline on the other.  The stainless steel structure holds all the mechanicals for the house and produces the illusion of a wall-less space and a floating box above. Moving through the building, the sectional complexities add to the spatial experiences inside and outside the house.  The sunken courtyard, formed by a sharp cut in the earth, connects the ground floor to the transparent living room by an upward-sloping grass ramp.  This ramp becomes the roof of the buried sections, with skylights cutting through the grass to provide natural light for the spaces below. The house was realized through the Architect led Design/Build process where we performed the duties as Architect and then assumed the role of Contractor and Construction Manager on site. This allowed for a very high level of execution while keeping costs and schedule in check.

 

(Design/Build project completed while employed at Gluck+)

Photography by Paul Warshaw