Currently on the boards, Franke : Franke is developing alternative architectural studies for a custom single-family residence in the Zilker neighborhood of Austin, Texas. The site is a deep, narrow flag lot that backs to a dramatic ravine view. The physical site constraints coupled with the City's tree protection and building envelope limitations, and a peculiar easement crossing the width of the site at an odd angle presented a set of challenges that guided F:F to development of the three alternatives illustrated here. As is common in our iterative design process, we have come to a point at which ideas will be put to a test in which a combined apartment and carport will be designed and constructed for the owners based on continued further iterations of our initial architectural explorations.
Intrigued with the weathered limestone found in the creek bed at the bottom of the site's ravine and its layered strata, and the phenomenal east and south facing views of the ravine, the parti of each alternative is generally organized around a consistent guiding idea of shaded transparencies from public and private spaces within each design alternative to these views and orientation. The visual relationship created from site to ravine was respected as a critical and unique opportunity to connect the residence with its natural surrounds in an otherwise densely urbanized fabric. When in the site, one is barely aware of the urban context that lies just outside of the protected ravine in all of its native beauty. Form, materiality, space organization, and physical relationships between interior and exterior spaces are then central to the variations on that satisfying parti in which each alternative turns to the ravine again and again as the proverbial spirit of the site.