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For Its 35th Year, The AIA Austin Homes Tour Goes Hybrid — Creating An Immersive and Fascinating Event

Get a Glimpse Inside the Featured 2021 Homes

BY Amanda Eyre Ward // 10.28.21
photography Tobin Davies Photography

On Friday, October 15, the first ever hybrid AIA Austin Homes Tour kicked off with virtual and in-person experiences. From a Clarksville stunner perched high on West 10th Street to an “Inverse House” located in Davenport Ranch, the tour was a thrilling way to consider both Austin’s historical riches and new ways architects and homeowners are playing with light, structure, sustainability, and possibility.

Friday and Sunday’s online sessions were fascinating, giving viewers a chance to ask specific questions of architects (Q: What’s inside that screen porch fireplace? A: Ceramic balls…it was an experiment but the owners love them!) and allowing architects to showcase past and future projects. I especially enjoyed April Clark’s visual presentation of how her client’s art collections influence the way she designs their homes. While I’d feared the online sessions would feel distant, they actually gave me a deeper, more meaningful sense of the architects at work than simply wandering through a structure, as I’d done in previous years.

On Saturday, however, it was pure joy to wake on a rare, crisp fall morning and head off, a cup of coffee in hand, to visit the three wildly divergent in-person homes tours. I was able to have a long conversation about HVAC systems and in-home generators with Indoor Weather Professionals; to speak with a Pella windows expert; and to pause in the most amazing bathroom I’d ever seen to fantasize about someday taking a bubble bath and gazing at both the Texas stars and the Texas State Capitol.

Read on for more on the must-see Austin architecture.

ClarksvilleResidence_LaRueArchitecture-2 (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)
The Clarksville home was designed by LaRue Architecture and offers stunning views of downtown Austin. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Clarksville Residence | In-person & Virtual

Architect: LaRue Architects
Neighborhood: Clarksville

Besides containing the bathtub of my dreams, this home retains the original façade of a historic Clarksville home and transforms into a modern masterpiece just past the entry rooms to reveal a jaw-dropping view of downtown Austin. To me, this home felt like Austin both past and present. (It even includes a wall of Life magazine covers found in the original home.) I loved it so much I called my eldest son and made him rush right over, so that every time we stop along Lamar Boulevard for Fresa’s tacos, we can gaze up at this home and dream.

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  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022

 

ExpositionResidence_BrianDillard-1 (1) (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)
In Tarrytown, the Exposition residence originated in 1939. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Exposition Residence | Virtual Only

Architect: Brian Dillard Architecture
Neighborhood: Tarrytown

This 1939 stone dwelling was updated with a modern addition that surrounds the yard and pool. A new stone cabana and covered seating area invites relaxing outdoors.

 

AIA Austin Home Tour
A Clearview residence offers energy-efficiency and hidden gardens. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Clearview Residence | Virtual Only

Architect: Weber + Studio Architects
Neighborhood: Tarrytown

The exterior “solar-abating aluminum skin” and rain screen installation augment energy efficiency in this home, and I loved the secret garden below the main-level pool deck.

 

AIA Austin Home Tour
The Oak Creek home’s kitchen is cozy and modern. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Oak Creek Court Residence | Virtual Only

Architect: Furman + Keil Architects
Neighborhood: West Austin

A sweeping, curved staircase takes center stage in this family home and oversized windows open to a backyard filled with oak trees.

 

AIA Austin Home Tour
The Ramsey residence boasts a beautiful outdoor area and fire pit. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Ramsey Residence | In-person & Virtual

Architect: Clark Richardson Architects
Neighborhood: Rosedale

This home was inspired by the owner’s art collection. A southern-lit gallery of clerestory windows (windows set in walls above eye-level) connects the public area and private area of the house.

 

AIA Austin Homes Tour
A giant screened porch connected to the main living room (and featuring a fireplace with ceramic balls) was the star of this stunning, Rollingwood home. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Rollingwood Residence | Virtual Only

Architect: Lake | Flato Architects
Neighborhood: Rollingwood

A giant screened porch connected to the main living room (and featuring a fireplace with ceramic balls) was the star of this stunning, Rollingwood home. The floating, gabled roof follows the slope of the land and guides views down the hill toward a dry creek, private gathering spaces, and amphitheater.

 

AIA Austin Homes Tour
Skylights allow the Inverse House to be filled with light and color. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Inverse House | In-person & Virtual

Architect: Matt Fajkus Architecture
Neighborhood: Davenport Ranch

Guests enter this home into the public space: a light-filled kitchen and living room. Inverting expectations, the private areas are located downstairs. Skylights allowed the home to be filled with changing color.

 

AIA Austin Homes Tour
The Lean On Me House attempts to bring the outside in. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

Lean on Me House | Virtual Only

Architect: North Arrow Studio
Neighborhood: Barton Creek Habitat

It was a pleasure to hear Francisco Arrendondo speak about this project, which attempts to “bring the outside in,” and “blur the boundary between interior and exterior” with a stacked-massing house that is located at the top of a hill.

 

AIA Austin Homes Tour
The owners of this River Ranch home (on a seven-acre site) were inspired by the film Out of Africa. (Photo by Tobin Davies Photography)

River Ranch | Virtual Only

Architect: Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects
Neighborhood: Cedar Creek

The owners of this home (on a seven-acre site) were inspired by the film Out of Africa. The resulting architecture, encompassing large living areas and scaled porches, allows them to connect with the natural environment.

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