Black + Vernooy | Hill Country Lake Home - Black + Vernooy

Hill Country Lake Home

Designed to optimize lake views and southerly breezes on a site that has been in the family since 1947, this stone and stucco single family compound creates an estate-like feeling with separate buildings creating special areas throughout the site. An unusual, outdoor stone stairway that reaches up and over the main living area roof-top beckons visitors to the third level viewing deck for panoramic views of the lake and Texas hill country.

The built structures consist of a main house, u-shaped in plan, with an open, trussed living and dining area. One leg of the “U” is a gourmet, two-cook’s kitchen with butler’s pantry, utility room and wife’s retreat/study. A generous breakfast room is connected to a separate screen porch with its own fireplace and outdoor cooking area. The master suite, comprising the opposite leg of the “U”, combines an exercise room, wife’s study, bathing suite, and private screen porch overlooking a walled white garden. Guest bedrooms upstairs afford lake views to visitors. A residential elevator behind the kitchen takes guests to their rooms or to the third level viewing deck and the husband’s office. Other features include a commercial greenhouse sited to enclose a kitchen garden, a large woodworking shop with attached outdoor shower, a lap pool, and a separate three bay garage with caretakers quarters. The lake provides the heat sink for the closed loop heating/cooling system.

The entry courtyard, which faces intense western summer sun, is buffered by a trellis. Entry into the house is a procession down a trellised path through the front courtyard. Alternate entry to guest quarters and viewing deck is up a broad stone outdoor stairway that is designed in such a way as to give glimpses of the lake as one climbs above the first floor roof-top. This unusual element beckons visitors to the third floor viewing deck for panoramic views of the lake and surrounding countryside.