West Lake Hills ResidenceContemporary Living Room, Austin

The existing house on this site was a small 1970s-era “French style” structure on a hilltop site with an expansive tree canopy. Our goal was to preserve all of the site’s large live oaks while creating a larger and more transparent house that allowed the landscape to flow through all the living spaces.

Our strategy was to weave a series of masonry support walls between the trees, and to lift the primary mass of the house off the ground plane. These walls extend across the site to form interior and exterior rooms, defining family spaces on the lower level, while supporting a “floating box” of enclosed bedroom and private spaces above.

A muted palette of materials at the lower level allows the views toward the landscape to predominate. At the upper level, the individuality of each family member is expressed with personally-chosen materials and colors.

Architect: Specht Harpman
Contractor: The client acted as contractor
Photography: Casey Dunn and Taggart Sorenson

Press and Awards

Austin Monthly Home (cover)
Modern Homes Tour Austin
Location for ABC series "American Crime"
Domus Design
Nash Dom (Bulgaria)
Today's Living (Hong Kong)

Inspiration for a large contemporary open concept dark wood floor living room remodel in Austin with gray walls, a standard fireplace and a concrete fireplace —  Houzz
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This photo has 5 questions
gvmartinez wrote:Dec 27, 2013
  • gvmartinez
    Thank you! How was it treated to get that finish?
  • PRO
    Specht Architects
    Left raw and waxed.
Nikki Grieco wrote:Mar 21, 2014
raffirinv wrote:Nov 3, 2013
runner gal wrote:Oct 15, 2016
Ray McGucci wrote:Sep 24, 2014

What Houzzers are commenting on:

Rip Andrews added this to Rip's ideasJul 20, 2019

Like this room but without the fireplace/chimney right in the middle of the view...

Ívar Guðmundsson added this to Project 52Jul 10, 2019

Colour combination, Walls and Exterior Windows

Stacia Muse Designs added this to Living SpacesMay 29, 2019

Fireplace, Sofa, Chairs, Wall of windows

Judy Kubik-Hamilton added this to family roomMay 22, 2019

Love the large windows on both sides of the fireplace

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