The Scout Island Residence is a 4500 square foot new home in an established hillside neighborhood in Austin, Texas. In a subdivision replete with traditional homes of limestone walls and gabled roofs, the sleek low lines and careful details of this home bring an assertive yet sensitive injection of modernity to the area.
Within a very ordinary neighborhood, this home is oriented to take maximum advantage of the unexpected escarpment and astonishing views offered at the rear of the property. The design splits the house into two bars, divided between public and private living spaces, around an internal courtyard of emerald zoysia, and connects them with a glass passageway. The courtyard is the center of this home and creates a tranquil refuge for the family. In contrast, the master bedroom, living and family rooms are brought to the end of each respective bar, cantilevered into the canopy of the trees, to directly engage the surprising view.
The house’s street presence is subtle yet confident, as a pair of ipe screens mediate between the brick façade and garden plantings — one wrapping the garage volume and the other peeling away from the house to form a sheltered parking area. Tall grasses, followed by papyrus and cattail in the water garden along the front of the glass passageway allow glimpses through to the courtyard but provide privacy from the street. A rainwater collection cistern sits nearby nestled beneath the master bedroom, holding gathered water for landscaping, laundry, and other needs. Once inside the neighborhood disappears, leaving the visitor with a serene interior and uninterrupted views to foliage and the escarpment in the distance.