Sugar Shack Residence

Architect: Alterstudio Architecture LLP

Location: Austin, Texas

Category: Up to $1.5 million in construction cost (category two)

The Sugar Shack Residence slips between a dramatic ravine and an intimate courtyard, both defining and accommodating its adjacent circumstances. Organized linearly, interior spaces negotiate between these two powerful conditions of landscape, and embrace their very different characteristics.

A Cedar-clad volume, treated in the traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban, is set perpendicular to the street and hovers above the landscape. The visitor enters in the middle of the house where an exterior, glass-enclosed stair penetrates the volume from a carport tucked into the hillside below. Windows direct one’s gaze strategically into the tree canopy or towards the private courtyard and align with the edges of the building, alternately sliding below the floor or above the ceiling.  

Careful attention to detail is ubiquitous and abstraction is utilized to focus attention on the subtlety of light, material and circumstance. Here, mill-finished steel & board-formed concrete is set against purpose-made, fumed white oak cabinetry and floors.

Additional information

Engineer: Duffy Engineering

HVAC Design: Positive Energy Building Science


Kurt Weaver, AIA (Jury Chair), AKW, Inc., Cleveland, OH

Anna Ives, AIA, Patterhn Ives LLC, Saint Louis, MO

Matthew H. Griffith, AIA, In Situ Studio, Raleigh, NC

Stacey Wehe, AIA, Christner Inc., Saint Louis, MO  

Edward T. Ogosta, AIA, Edward Ogosta Architecture, Culver City, CA

Image credits

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Casey Dunn

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Casey Dunn

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Casey Dunn

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Casey Dunn

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Casey Dunn