A secret garden’s jewel in limestone
David Webber of Webber + Studio in Austin, TX, designed the main house and was naturally brought in to design the backyard additions. “The yoga studio was one of a couple parts of a bigger project,” Webber said. “[The homeowners] were both really athletic and they wanted a garage to work as a bike shop and the yoga studio that is big enough for two or three friends. They wanted it to be somewhat serene; something with a garden feel.”
Considering the worry-free yoga philosophy, the design for the studio was a simple one that required more focus on the aesthetics of the backyard area. The studio consists of one room with a walk-in area for dressing. To incorporate a Zen connection with nature, there is a large window incorporated into the exterior stone design that overlooks a garden area, which was enhanced with Webber’s use of Lueders limestone. “We used Lueders limestone, which was also used on the house and garage,” explained Webber. “To create a garden look, we treated the area like a garden folly/pavilion. The wall is also stone, and it extends to an enclosed garden area.”
The ease of the design carried over into the client-architect relationship. “Our clients were pretty wonderful,” Webber said. “They gave a lot of leeway to make recommendations, as it was such an obvious decision that would bring together the marriage of the garage/yoga studio to the house. There was a lot of deliberation over certain areas of the project, but not with the stone. Basically, they were not really involved; they trusted us.”
Considering that the project lies within the suburbs of Austin, TX, Lueders limestone was an obvious choice for many reasons. “That was the same stone used on the main house. It was a local stone quarried from Austin, a cost-effective material, with easy cutting and installing,” said Webber. The material was supplied by AJ Brauer Stone, Inc. of Jarell, TX.
The exterior of the structure was clad with 20- x 30-inch pieces of the limestone that were installed by Richard Llewellyn of Richard Llewellyn Masonry in Austin, TX. “The stone was laid on ¼ -inch joints and wall tied back to the structure,” he said. “They were large stones in a coursed pattern.” The entire stone installation for the studio took about three weeks.
Richard Llewellyn Masonry used a team of seven workers for the 450-square-foot project, and there were minimal challenges on site. “With the stone being local, cut local and having a good stonemason, there really weren’t any challenges with the stone,” Llewellyn said. “There were a few challenges getting the cast concrete and stone to line up, which was probably the bigger issue, but no drama. The best installations come from a group effort.”
As a serene getaway, this backyard retreat is a tucked-away limestone treasure that all are pleased with. “It has kind of a Zen, but Texas feel to it,” said Webber. “There is a lot of reaction to the new parts — the wall in the garden and the garage. Even though the yoga studio is the most delightful, it can’t be seen from afar. You have to go around to the back of the house. The general reaction is positive, but is elevated once people can see the yoga studio. There has been nothing but positive reactions. If only we can have more clients like them.”
Private Yoga Studio
|Architect: Webber + Studio, Austin, TX|
|Stone Installer: Richard Llewellyn Masonry, Austin, TX|
|Stone Supplier: AJ Brauer Stone, Inc., Jarell, TX|