At Foothill Residence, a renovation and addition of a mid-century modern home in Austin, Texas, the elements of architecture, nature, and light are used to effectively create a sense of calm and comfort for its inhabitants. The home was originally built in 1953 and won an award of merit from the Texas Architect’s Association for the project the same year. An open concept public wing that maximized communal space and a modestly sized private wing delineated the home’s modern plan.
Bercy Chen Studio’s addition and renovation builds on the L-shaped plan to accommodate for the home’s present day owners. As was the original home’s intent, the updated MCM provides its inhabitants with a connection to the outdoors from every space in the house. Nature is the primary element that defines new boundaries, establishing the volumes for the office, master wing, and childrens’ bedrooms. As it carves out new program, built and natural elements become transposed. Nature acts as a screen that softens and filters, creating subtle layers of privacy and a feeling of ease. The wooded site provides for intimate views and creates dappled sunlight that floods the house, softening hard surfaces and helping to tie together spaces of different eras. At the new living room and master bedroom wings, both sited around a mature oak tree, floor to ceiling height glazing open the house to the tree and yard beyond. From the office, one can see in succession, a courtyard, the hallway to the childrens’ rooms, another courtyard, and the kitchen.
A close collaboration between designers and homeowners, especially on the interiors, further help accomplish the goal of integrating nature and architecture. The client, a textile designer, created the the organic patterns of the wallpapers, that echo the way dappled light washes the home.