Lake House

As part of a residential estate in construction, Andersson-Wise was asked to conceive of a half-mile pathway from the site of the main residence across a deep ravine to an opposing riddling and finally down to a boathouse located on Lake Austin below.

This structure, located on the steeply sloped bank of Lake Austin, is designed for downtime. A nearly mile-long path leads the visitor down the hill, over a suspension bridge constructed of individual segments strung onto cables that spans a ravine, and finally down to the boat house. The simple, elegant building rises above the water, resting on the surface like a water skater. And like the surface-skimming insect, this off-the-grid domicile exerts a minimal impact on its surroundings. Its structure, fabricated into a single framework of steel and barged to the site, is anchored into rock beneath the water. A floating carpenter shop was used to complete the construction from the water side.

Breezes from the lake-top enter and exit through screens allowing the living spaces to breathe along with the river valley. The wind and water combine to provide natural cooling for the entire structure. On the north and east sides, the lower screens swing out creating full-height openings making impromptu diving platforms.

The boat house provides a respite from the exhaustions of heat and the exertion of swimming, but it constantly reminds occupants of their proximity.


Project Type


Austin, Texas, United States

Related links


  • Andersson Wise Architects
  • Art Gray