Treetops House

Austin, Texas


The Treetops House is a renovation and major expansion of a 1955 suburban ranch house that was very typical for its time and place—a sprawling single-story, fairly nondescript affair that had small windows, and was clad entirely in Texas limestone. Our challenge was to transform this into a modern house that was bright and inviting.

We believe that the history of a place should be retained and incorporated into any new design, and preserving such elements adds depth to any renovation. With the Treetops House, we maintained the limestone perimeter wall, and added a new second level with large frameless glass windows. The interior was opened up to create double-height spaces that bring in light from above and into the center of the house.

The surrounding treescape provides a beautiful backdrop to the intimate interior spaces. Large overhangs provide shade at all times of the day, and the surrounding cladding of charred cypress prevents glare and adds a textural counterpoint. Other features include a large kitchen with countertop-height serving windows that open out onto a pool terrace and entertaining area, as well as unique built-in storage and display elements.

Landscaping is entirely comprised of native grasses and other low-maintenance plantings.

Architect: Specht Architects
Contractor: Spencer Construction
Photography: Casey Dunn

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