2017 AIA Housing Awards: Blue Lake Retreat by Lake|Flato Architects

From the American Institute of Architects:

Blue Lake Retreat

Architect: Lake|Flato Architects

Location: Marble Falls, Texas

Category: One- and Two-family Custom Residences (category one)

Blue Lake Retreat celebrates the nostalgic memories of the client’s childhood summers spent on the lake and honors the legacy of her father—an architect.








The long, narrow three-story residence dramatically culminates at the top floor, set just above the tree line—providing nearly a 180-degree view of the lake beyond. The third floor north-facing glazed wall offers unobstructed views of the lake, while smaller punched openings in the south-facing wall give deliberate glimpses of the rugged beauty of the hillside behind, highlighting the counterpointed landscapes. The top floor is open and large enough to comfortably host the entire family in one space, yet intimate to reinforce close family-bonding. Further emphasizing the unique site’s juxtaposed landforms, the third floor’s cantilevered deck reaches toward the water, while a bridge on the opposite side of the home anchors into the hillside behind, connecting the house to its surrounding landscape.

“The simple design has a comfortable flow between indoor and outdoor spaces; the two blend in one’s read of the structure.” —Jury comment

Four separate bedroom retreats are tucked below on the lower floors. All circulation space was shifted outdoors, allowing further immersion in nature. The two-story boathouse and swim deck mimic the home’s design, echoing its connection to the land by utilizing a similar bridge to unite the site’s varied landforms.

Materials were selected primarily for their durability and deliberately placed in response to sun and wind exposure at each elevation and orientation on the site. Extroverting nearly 5,000 sq. ft. of outdoor spaces led to the creation of a four bedroom, four bath lake house that truly celebrates outdoor living.

Additional information:

Landscape architect: Thompson + Hanson

Landscape installer: W M Greer Construction Company

Interior designer: Plus Two Interiors, Houston LLC

Engineer (structural): Datum Engineers

Engineer (MEP): Southwest Mechanical Services

Engineer (civil): Pape Dawson Engineers

Lighting consultant: Spectrum Lighting

General contractor: Duecker Construction Company

Woodwork contractor: KingWood Fine Cabinetry

Photography: Andrew Pogue

See full coverage of this year’s winners and the list of jurors on the American Institute of Architects’ website.

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