Residential Design

VOL.3 2018

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

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What does it take to make a good house? Without a doubt, a good archi- tect, a good builder, and a good client are key components. But the houses that rise above the ordinary job-well-done often have a special ingredient—an outstanding site, perhaps, or an unusual program that ignites the team's creative spark. Hill Country House had all of these and more. The client came from Miró Rivera's own backyard, so to speak: She rented office space in the same building as the firm. "She used to say to us, one day Hill Country House WIMBERLEY, TEXAS MIRÓ RIVERA ARCHITECTS I'm going to build a house and I will call you guys," recalls Miguel Rivera, FAIA, who's probably heard this more than a few times in his career. How- ever, not only did she make good on her promise, she greatly expanded the scope of her commission. She came back to the firm with a 46-acre par- cel of beautiful hill country property about a 45-minute drive from Aus- tin, Texas, and a vision of building a community of sustainable houses with shared open space. Her house was to be the prototype. "She wanted something connect- ed to nature, practically off the grid, very low maintenance, and she had a very low budget," says Miguel. The owner is part of a couple, and both are ordained ministers, so there was also a spiritual element to the program as well. The vision encompassed a place to hold retreats and other gatherings— a public-private building, with a flex- ible floor plan and plenty of space to convene, indoors and outdoors. "She said to us, 'Why don't we make this an example of what people can do?'" 60 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 3, 2018 DESIGN LAB HIGHER ORDER

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