Located in Austin, Texas, the Balcones House is built on the edge of a fractured limestone cliff, which is a part of the echelon of the Balcones fault.
Pollen Architecture & Design reconstructed and reconceived a house originally on the site, designed in 1957 by Jonathan Bowman. The site strategy of the original house, as well as its limestone rubble walls have been preserved. Rebuilt with a steel structure and larger reconfigured window openings, the new design allows direct connection to the outside.
The new floor area is built out in plaster and has a higher roof that twists to respond to the cliff and cups to collect rainwater. The architects used intense materials to bring tactility to the modern spaces, designed and developed specifically for this project. A major emphasis of the firm’s work is the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces to suffuse the interior with sunlight. To implement this feature, the selection of the windows and doors was very important. Larger slider doors along the main living space bring in natural light, and also allow the entire wall to disappear. When the doors are open, the room doubles in size as the outside patio and interior living space are joined.