This hilltop residence is a single-family house near Emma Long Metropolitan park in West Austin. A large circular plinth containing an infinity-edge reflecting pond defines the main house. Within the pond is a lap pool, which, together with the pond, forms a central courtyard, allowing panoramic views of the city and hills beyond.
The circular reflecting pond is a central and defining feature of the house and serves multiple purposes. The pond’s waterfall creates a constant white noise, canceling nearby traffic noise. Spiritually, the large body of water brings a sense of calm and psychological coolness while visually connecting the house with the surrounding landscape. The pond also captures the constantly changing ambient light and reflects it onto the interior ceiling, animating the entire house.
A cantilevered, perforated metal, shading structure shields against the intense Texas sun. The house is situated toward the southeast to capture the dominant view. The circular plinth carves into an L shaped house where daily lives revolve around the courtyard. A series of outdoor steps cascade down the slope passing under the reflecting pond and form an outdoor amphitheater, leading into a square Japanese Zen garden defined by bamboo grove. The steps along the amphitheater also contain edible planters with seasonal garden vegetables easily accessible from the kitchen and outdoor grilling station.
Every room in the house, public or private, enjoys both views into both the central courtyard and the panoramic hill and city vistas. The public portion of the L shaped house, containing the living, dinning room and kitchen are united visually by curved, mullionless, floor-to-ceiling glass along the edge of the central courtyard.