2021 AIA Small Project Awards: Pemberton Residence by Alterstudio Architecture
Category: Up to $1.5 million in construction cost (category two)
n contrast to immodest new homes and significant additions to existing dwellings that have altered many of central Austin’s neighborhoods, the single-story Pemberton Residence revels in its dynamic interior world. Nestled between the gables of its neighboring houses, the residence, built for empty nesters interested in trading unoccupied bedrooms for proximity to Austin’s bustling nightlife, draws inspiration from Joseph Eichler’s noted Northern California homes. Much less expensive to build than the typical construction surrounding it, the home is an enigmatic presence with a delightful interior just waiting to be discovered.
“The project has a nice balance of aesthetic moves and also exhibits a degree of restraint to create a well-scaled building that fits well into the neighborhood” – Jury comment
Pemberton Residence was envisioned as a new model for a typical city plot and an alternative to seemingly endless suburban sprawl. The local neighborhood association and surrounding community have long campaigned for a return to the neighborhood’s original, pre-war fabric, and this project achieves those desires through a modern context. Its engagement at the street level coupled with its modest scale imbues the neighborhood with a re-established character and sense of walkability.
“The project has a nice balance of aesthetic moves and also exhibits a degree of restraint to create a well-scaled building that fits well into the neighborhood,” noted the jury. “There is an intriguing progression of spaces with a sense of discovery while moving through the building.”
By modeling mechanical systems to environmental, structural, and design conditions, the home is carefully sited for solar and wind orientation, efficient systems, and a robust relationship between its occupants and their indoor space. Though often hot and humid, Texas’ climate can be an exciting living environment. With shade and ample breezes, the outdoors are accessible nearly year-round. Pemberton Residence takes advantage of the climate to provide its owners with both a private refuge and an invitation to live among the landscape.
“There is an intriguing progression of spaces with a sense of discovery while moving through the building.” – Jury comment
With its interesting and sustainable design, Pemberton Residence has continually exceeded the clients’ expectations as they enjoy their new life in Austin. While the design is specific to the clients’ needs and desires, the home could easily be occupied by various family compositions, including those with children.
General Contractor: Abode Homes
Structural Engineer: Duffy Engineering, Inc.
Landscape: Athena Pools, Aleman Design & Build
Cabinetry: Signature Cabinets
Geotechnical Engineer: Capital Geotechnical Services
Bhaskar Srivastava, AIA, (Chair), dencityworks, Brooklyn, NY
Kevin Erickson, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Jonah Stanford, AIA, NeedBased, Santa Fe, NM
Janeen Harrell, AIA, Janeen Harrel Architect, GREC Architects, Chicago, IL