Residential Design

Vol. 2, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Shape Shifter A new modern courtyard house draws inspiration from a melting pot of influences. BY S. CLAIRE CONROY ARCHITECT: BERCY CHEN STUDIO BUILDER: ABODE MODERN HOME BUILDING LOCATION: AUSTIN, TEXAS CASE STUDY We've all heard the slogan, "Keep Austin Weird." Perhaps the weirdest thing about Austin over the last few years is the boom in housing sales over $1 million—usually such prosperity is reserved for the country's perimeter cities. The other unusual aspect of this bustling residential real estate market is that at least 20 percent of it is modern in style. Where are these buyers coming from? Technology, medical, and financial industries are largely responsible for keeping unemployment near the lowest in the nation and salaries bustling at the high end. And they are fed by a constant influx of youthful workers, drawn by Austin's culture and music scenes, beautiful landscape, and year-round outdoor lifestyle. Home prices and home sales finished 2016 at the highest ever on record in Austin. Lots of wealthy buyers and a tight supply of housing has meant a strong demand for the talents of the local residential pros, many of whom derive from the excellent architecture school at the University of Texas at Austin. Just two years ago, a young entrepreneurial builder named Richard White drove by an interesting teardown opportunity in South Austin, a neighborhood still relatively undervalued (at the time) but just a few minutes across the Colorado River from downtown. What attracted him were its commodious lot dimensions and the hilly topography of the area. Instead of the VOL. 2, 2017 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM 31

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