Hog Pen Creek Retreat

Architect: Lake|Flato Architects

Location: Austin, Texas

Situated at the confluence of Hog Pen Creek and Lake Austin, Hog Pen Creek Residence was envisioned by its owners as a place that evokes the playfulness of summer on the lake and emphasizes exterior living space.


The Hog Pen Creek Residence was designed as a home for a Bay Area couple who were looking to return to their Texas roots as they were approaching retirement age. They asked that the house connect to the outdoors, facilitate his training as an Ironman triathlete, and accommodate separate office spaces as they transition to retirement.

"Delicate placement amidst mature landscape and creek waterfront views." - Jury comment

The house was designed to connect to the outdoors in many ways. This connection begins as you step on the boardwalk at the motor court and is evident throughout the house. This outdoor circulation spine is designed to evoke images of a pier on Lake Austin and it organizes and connects all elements of the project from the motor court down to the dining pavilion on Lake Austin. Along the way, this spine passes through the outdoor living room which serves as the main entry to the house.

This two-story porch space terminates the south end of the house and enjoys the prevailing breezes from Lake Austin. It also accommodates a fireplace to allow year round use. The north end of the house is also bookended by a porch although screened to provide an outdoor living space during insect season. It is nestled in a grove of oaks and pecans and its two story height appreciates their full majesty. The interior of the home accommodates many operable windows to provide cross ventilation and daylight and three pairs of oversized lift-slide doors provide views of Lake Austin to the east and open up much of the house when the weather is nice.

"Nicely detailed, fully cohesive design strategy with water and nature being primary influences." - Jury  comment

The project was carefully sited and designed such that no existing trees had to be removed although one pecan tree was uprooted during a storm and fell into Hog Pen Creek. This loss was turned into a feature by salvaging it, milling it into slabs, and incorporating it into the design of many custom elements throughout the house. These elements include the dining table, vanity tops, desks, and shelving which further connect the house to the site.

Additional information

Contractor: Don Crowell Builders

Structural Engineer: Datum Engineers

Lighting Designer: Studio Lumina

Specifications: Introspec

Landscape Architect: Garden Design Studio

Furnishings: Abode | Fern Santini Design

Surveyor: Bury + Partners

Arborist: Don Gardner Consulting Arborist

Woodwork: Thompson Woodworking & Design

HVAC Contractor: Ay Mechanical

Pool Contractor: Johnson Custom Pools


2016 AIA Housing Awards Jury

Jamie Blosser, AIA (Chair), Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief, Next City, Philadelphia

Kevin Harris, FAIA, Kevin Harris Architect, LLC, Baton Rouge

David Lee, FAIA, Stull and Lee, Inc., Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts

Suman Sorg, FAIA, Sorg & Associates, P.C., Washington, DC

Image credits


Casey Dunn


Casey Dunn


Casey Dunn


Casey Dunn


Casey Dunn


Casey Dunn


Casey Dunn