Black + Vernooy | Cliff House on Lake Travis - Black + Vernooy

Cliff House on Lake Travis

This weekend retreat, sited on a 30-foot cliff overlooking Lake Travis, creates a place for a couple and their two young adult daughters to entertain friends and family. The owners wanted to take advantage of the lake views while incorporating a variety of outdoor living spaces that allow for quiet adult spaces separated from more active entertainment areas.

The indoor-outdoor flow of the approximately 4,000-square-foot compound is captured in six building volumes that surround a large courtyard containing mature live oaks and a fire pit for nighttime outdoor gatherings. A continuous metal-roofed trellis and walkway connects the main house with the daughters’ casitas and the convertible guest/game/media room.

For additional outdoor entertainment options, the family can gather on the generous front porch that connects to the main living area and overlooks the lake. The heart of the compound, the main living area, is large enough to accommodate family holiday gatherings. Transparent corridors, which allow passage through this structure to capture a moving panorama of the lake and Hill Country, connect two master suites on either end.

Indigenous materials—aromatic cedar lintels and wood decking above structural wood trusses—add to the regional feeling of this compound. Thick stone walls in the main structure recall historic building techniques common to the area, and mesquite flooring and cabinetry make use of a local tree that many are finding to be a beautiful and durable hardwood. These elements bring a wonderful sense of the Texas Hill Country to this low-maintenance vacation home.

This project was completed in January 2002 by Magnum Builders.