The Lake House pushes out from a steeply sloped bank and extends over Lake Austin in Texas. The lower portion of the rectangular building contains a sculling dock and boat storage, while the upper floor houses a furnished living area and grill. The structure serves as both a storage facility and a space for relaxation.
“The boathouse provides a respite from the exhaustions of heat and the exertion of swimming, but it constantly reminds occupants of their proximity,” said Andersson-Wise, a local architecture studio.
The structure is accessed via a nearly half-mile-long path, which leads visitors down a forested hill and over a wooden and metal footbridge that spans a ravine. The visitor then arrives at the small boathouse, which is designed to have a light environmental impact.
“The simple, elegant building rises above the water, resting on the surface like a water skater,” the team said. “And like the surface-skimming insect, this off-the-grid domicile exerts a minimal impact on its surroundings.”
A single frame made of steel was transported to the site by barge, and was then anchored into a rock in the lake. A “floating carpenter shop” was used to complete construction on the water-facing side of the structure.
Portions of the building are clad in dark-stained wood. On the north and east facades, the team installed operable screens that swing outward and can be propped open. Full-height openings enable occupants to dive directly into the lake from the elevated living room, and also bring in fresh air.
“Breezes from the lake enter and exit through screens, allowing the living spaces to breathe along with the river valley,” the team said. “The wind and water combine to provide natural cooling for the entire structure.”
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