Miró Rivera Architects designed this contemporary renovation of a 1940s house in Austin, Texas.
The original house suffered an unfortunate addition in the 1980s. The backyard views were blocked by a heavy fireplace and small windows; meanwhile a fenced-in pool, brick terraces, and roofed arcade all served to divide rather than unify the landscape.
MRA’s goal was to restore the exterior of the house in this historic neighborhood while transforming the interiors to bring in light and provide a better connection with the exterior. A simple material palette was used to maintain a balance between the traditional aspects of the original house and the modern updates required by this family of four.
The garage was renovated to include an upper level gym, guest alcove, and terrace. Below the terrace an outdoor living space activates a previously neglected yard. A Sol Lewitt sculpture, visible from the main rooms of the house, increases the depth of the yard and provides a crisp and geometric focal point.