2022 RDAA | Custom Accessory or Outbuilding | Filtered Frame Dock | Matt Fajkus Architecture

Almost like a bird alighting on a rock, Filtered Frame Dock captures a moment of frozen motion at the water’s edge. Designed as a lakeside home’s only shoreline access, the outbuilding serves multiple purposes—sheltered outdoor entertainment space, water sports storage, and a refuge from the stifling heat on land—but it elevates those functions with the beauty and grace of its execution. 

Occupying the waterfront of a long, narrow lot, the dock and its artful screens filter out views of neighboring townhouses and a marina, while framing “aperture views” of the lake, says Matt Fajkus, AIA. “Our client also wanted the building to provide 50/50 shade and sun. So that drove our thinking about placement of walls and how we punctured them. We did a lot of solar tests to see how that light would change through the day and through the year.”

Strict codes dictated the maximum size and level of enclosure for the building—even the amount of storage allowed. No bathrooms or air conditioning were permitted, but it could have a refrigerator, lighting, and a ceiling fan to drive away mosquitoes. With function kept to a minimum, the building’s strength as a sculptural object soars. The algorithmically devised screen perforations cause a dance of patterned light and shade across the steel, wood, and glass, in contrast with the organic ripples of breeze across the water. Said one judge admiringly, “It’s so precise. Every single surface is worked out on this.”

Honor Award

Custom Accessory or Outbuilding

Matt Fajkus Architecture

Filtered Frame Dock

Austin, Texas

Project Credits

Architect: Matt Fajkus, AIA, Matt Fajkus Architecture, Austin, Texas

Builder: Risinger Build, Austin

Landscape Architect: LandWest Design Group, Austin

Structural Engineer:
Whit Smith, Smith Structural, Austin

Project Size: 550 square feet

Site Size: 0.7 acre

Photography: Charles Davis Smith, Leonid Furmansky,
MF Architecture

Key Products

Cladding: Stainless steel screens, Accoya and Fine Gray Douglas Fir from Delta Millworks

Counter/Surfacing: Lueders limestone

Fan: Big Ass Fans

Lighting: Jesco, SIMES 

Outdoor Appliances: True

Roofing: Mild steel

Roof/Truss Systems: Structural steel

Structural Glass: CRL TAPER-LOC (glass railing)