Bringing a Texas culture home

October 1, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Architect Anthony Alofsin’s 2,600-square-foot home is designed around a 20- x 35-foot courtyard where he aimed to give it a modern, yet ancient feel in its Austin, TX, location.

Photo by Paul Bardagjy Photography


When it came to building his own home in Austin, TX, architect Anthony Alofsin dedicated time to creating a unique design that reflected its natural environment, which included the use of local stone. The plan that took a year to construct was set to give a modern, yet ancient mood. “It feels Japanese and organic, as well as recalling a Texas vernacular,” said Alofsin.

The 2,600-square-foot home is designed around a 20- x 36-foot courtyard, where the indoor rooms are open to gardens and undisturbed landscape, but protected from the intense western sun. Alofsin strategically placed most of the stonework on the western side beneath overhanging roof eaves. “This was done to avoid any condition where water would run down the face of the stone and attract,” he said. “When water is kept off, the stone retains its color nicely.”

In keeping with the vernacular of Texas, Alofsin used stone from the Featherlite quarry, which is only 15 miles from the location of his home. “I wanted to use local materials because they are handsome, and the home is part of a local culture,” he said. “This decision also made the process relatively economical.”

The front of the home features three different limestones, including fociliferous shell stone, smooth limestone and rubble limestone. Smooth face and splitface Concrete Masonry Units (CMU) were combined to produce distinct patterns, according to the architect. At the end of the covered terrace on the back of the house is a wall of rubble white limestone created from a pattern that Alofsin drew. For the courtyard, flagstone from Arkansas was employed for part of the paving, whereas the surrounding edge of the pond is limestone. Leftover pieces of limestone were then used for the actual pond fountain.

Stone also continues into the interior. The floors consist of honed white limestone, which the architect noted provided contrast with the industrial ceramic countertops. The fireplace employs solid hand-pitched limestone blocks with smooth limestone at the bottom of the hearth, which has a bullnose molding. Hand-pitched ashlar encompasses the rest of the fireplace.

When accounting for the sizes of pieces used, Alofsin explained that the dimensions differed but all dimensions were controlled in the design process. “Everything was cut to modular sizes,” he said. “Stone used throughout the whole house was based on proportion, which allowed a harmonious effect even when the sizes varied.”

Alofsin concluded that the diversity of sizes all went together very adequately. “I’m very pleased with the results,” he said. “This is a very timely, serene place that people enjoy.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Alexis Fisher

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

The Stone Fashion Show at Marmomacc in Verona

As usual, stone suppliers from Italy and around the world relied on the Marmomacc fair to showcase some of the latest stone materials to the international marketplace. The following is a look at just some of the stone materials on display in Verona.

Stone World Magazine

Stone World July 2014 cover

July 2014

Check out the latest issue of Stone World, which includes a review of the 2014 Coverings conference.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD Summer 2014 cover

2014 Summer

Check out articles about the Windy Creek Casino renovation,the El Alear Condominium complex in San Pedro Garza Garcia, and a Coverings product review.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

STONE STANDARD

Are you aware of the new stone standard – ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainability Assessment for Natural Dimension Stone?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Stone Guide

2014 Stone World Stone Guide

The directory for Stone, Equipment and Supplies - the single information resource readers turn to.

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTubeGoogle+