West Lake Hills Residence

West Lake Hills, Texas


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 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 Sorensen

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