Site size: 6,500 square feet

Project size: 550 square feet

Program: The owner wanted a one-bedroom guesthouse behind a primary residence.

Location: East Austin, Texas

Solution: The house’s 320-square-foot footprint is the maximum allowed by the city for this East Austin residential lot. To gain enough volume within that small area for a one-bedroom dwelling, the second floor leans out away from the first, hugging building setback planes and an angled utility easement at the back of the property. Tilting walls allow for a covered porch and outdoor shower, as well as expanded living, sleeping, bathing, and cooking spaces throughout. The design draws inspiration from Dutch and Japanese precedents that have shown exceptional ability to find playful solutions under tight spatial constraints.

Construction and materials: The house features wood and metal framing, cedar shake siding, and stucco interior walls. Cabinetry is made from reclaimed longleaf pine.


Additional Information

Completion date: May 2015

Gross square footage: 500 square feet

Total construction cost: $160,000

Client: Kerthy Fix

Owner: Kerthy Fix



Studio 512
1902 E 11th St
Austin, TX. 78702


Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Nicole Blair, Principal, Lead Designer
Peter Raab, Architect
Scott Magic, Architect



Structures - Jerry Garcia, Ryan Stolz Engineers


General Contractor:

Studio 512



Casey Dunn; Whit Preston; Adam Schreiber



Landscape: D-Crain





Structural System

Boban Brothers - wood and steel framers

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project: W2 Macfab - structural steel supplier + fabricator


Exterior Cladding

Wood: Cedar Shakes - repurposed roofing material obtained from R Builders. 



Tile/shingles: Cedar Shakes - repurposed roofing material obtained from R Builders. 


Glass: Arrow Glass - frameless glass shower enclosure  

Skylights: Vellux - operable bath skylight

Insulated-panel or plastic glazing: Arrow Glass - custom insulated glass panels at window wall


Interior Finishes

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Wishtree Carpentry - Matt Prine

Raised flooring: Delta Millworks - shou-sugi-ban supplier (used for flooring, desktop, and nightstand)

Special interior finishes unique to this project: Delta Millworks - shou-sugi-ban supplier (used for flooring, desktop, and nightstand); Drophouse – interior steel fabricator; Antonio Juarez —exposed copper plumbing detail fabricator


Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: Reclaimed longleaf pine cabinet fronts.