austin architects: a small collection of stuff bubba likes

A local reader suggested that I show photos of the work done by local architects to give the out-of-towners a sense of the talent here. Excellent suggestion: We are swimming in swimmingly great work here in Austin, in part because we have some great architects and in part because we have great folks that want modern. Below are some of my favorite projects in and around town in no particular order. Photos are shamelessly cribbed from each respective architect’s web site.

Bercy Chen designs some freaking fantastic houses. A lot of their stuff is ultra-modern and spacey.

Universal Joint Design Associates appears to have only done one residential build, but it’s a real neat one with a metal turtle under it.

Dick Clark Architecture consistently does solid (high-end) work out and about town. Their houses are often on AIA home tours and are detailed gorgeous.

Alterstudio Architects has thrown up some rather inspiring and creative work around town. There’s a lot of eye candy on their web page (and I’ve been [legally] inside the first two shown below!)

M J Neal is/was one of my local faves. Sadly, rumor has it he has left Austin for greener pastures (his ultra-cool home [with the red bits below] was recently on the market for a steal…). His work is ultra high end and ultra modern with nearly everything (and I mean everything) custom. The houses we've seen of his (the top two) are somewhat introverted with controlled extroversion (and my bride is not a fan...).

Cottam Hargrave is one of those architects where I reckon you have to be one of the top 0.1% to afford (or be their photographer...), but my o my what beautiful things they do. Prolly our favorite central Texas home is that first one shown down below: a Texas version of the glass house called "The Ranch" located just north of Austin.

Pollen Architecture has put together some neat stuff. Really like that first project down there where they filled the gaps in a plastic sheet with different materials to get some great “tonal variation”.

And finally, KRDB has some stuff that really gets them two by fours to stand up straight!

Whelp, that's my list. Let me know if you think I made an egregious omission or someone else needs/deserves inclusion.


  1. Okay, I'm clearly not fluent in modern architecture. "Introverted" versus "extroverted"? The second MJ Neal house is obviously pretty private from the street (shy?), and if I squint my brain real hard, the first one is perhaps standoffish, but I suspect that's not what you mean. Are there also interior elements that are "introverted" and "extroverted"? Would you consider my house "extroverted"? (If so, ironic....) What I do know is that I seriously dig those rusty metal planting boxes.

  2. I don't know that introverted and extroverted are true architectural terms, but I've seen the term introverted applied to these japanese modern homes with few windows directed to the outside world (but still light and airy on the inside). The second Neal one (Wolfe Den) definitely is (perhaps because of the southern exposure?); the first one: yes and no. That project is called Twin Peaks where one unit is introverted and the other isn't (as can be seen by the street-side glass room).

    Your house leans toward introverted. I drive by, and I can't tell what the heck y'all are doing in there.

    Those rusty metal planting boxes would look great in your front yard.