An undeveloped 5 acre lot had been a gathering place for the client’s family since the 1970’s. This beautiful lakefront oasis - known affectionately as The Narrows - lies just a few miles outside of downtown Austin. The owners insisted on a simple, humble, yet unique cabin to host their family gatherings and quiet weekend retreats.
This small cabin, nicknamed ‘Cousin Cabana’, needed to host multiple programs in a small space while maintaining a sense of openness. Only 480 sf, the cabin features a combined kitchen-living-dining room adjacent to a wood deck. We chose natural materials and methods that would be maintenance-free for years including an ipe wood rainscreen siding, custom floor-to-ceiling face-glazed steel windows and board-formed concrete planters.
A boutique hostel, cafe, and event space designed for the epicurean traveller and locals alike. It is nestled in an existing 2-story late 1800’s stone building and a mid-century brick warehouse right in the middle of the upcoming transit-oriented development adjacent to downtown. Un.box studio utilized a rich palette and textured materials, a theme aptly referred to throughout the design process as ‘dark and stormy’. The result is a truly unique communal experience that offers affordable rates with impeccable style at the nexus of development in Austin.
Creative branding by Helms Workshop
Interior design by Joel Mozersky
Photography by Chase Daniel
These four garden courtyard houses embody the feel of south Austin’s casual lifestyle. Solid (insulated) stack-bonded architectural grade CMU (concrete masonry unit) walls define the ADU’s (accessory dwelling unit) exterior walls which carry through to the interior. Heavy mass gabion walls create privacy and natural garden planter walls. In collaboration with Sett Studio.
This 18,000 sf concrete residence overlooking Lake Travis is our second venture into authentic living design. Natural materials and landscape blend the building into the surrounding environment and take advantage of the views. Large expansive glass and a wrap-around pool allow views from every aspect of the house.
This classic modern remodel created a timeless feel for to an outdated historic residence. Working within the existing footprint, we opened up existing spaces and consolidated program to make the home more spacious.
We tied the existing space to the outdoor private pool area using a glass multi-sliding pocket door and expansive kitchen windows that overlook the exterior.We chose a light and cool color palette to put life back into the space. Warm natural wood materials throughout balance the cool color scheme.
photography by Scott Wade Photography
We were inspired to create our first authentic living space to reflect our client’s desire to live and work in his painting studio. The design emulates his painting style and personal lifestyle by using natural materials, minimalist values, and bridging social context within a live-work environment. The overall form takes on an ethos of monumental simplicity which inherently captures panoramic lake views from the steep mountainside terrain.
As part of authentic living, this studio is entirely devoid of paints or stains. The exterior walls are made of exposed rammed earth construction set atop a giant plinth of exposed concrete. The interior features natural plywood finishes and exposed structural beams. We focused all of our glazing to the north and south to capture views, utilize soft light for the painting, and create passive solar systems.
Un.box Studio teamed up with Newcastle Homes to create a speculative home in the heart of East Austin. The master suite is a separate unit connected to the main house via glass entry to create a courtyard field focused around a large heritage oak tree that has dominated the property for nearly a century.
Engaging with traditional forms but applying modern detailing is a technique we refer to as “modern vernacular”. This use of modern vernacular allowed us to seamlessly fit the home into an old, but rapidly changing neighborhood, while appealing to the modernist.
photography by Austin Real Estate Photography
This minimalist home was originally designed for a retiring couple moving from an urban lifestyle to live out their golden years in solitude. After the project was abandoned, we recreated the design concept to adapt to more of an urban or suburban context to create a literal oasis for anyone seeking refuge from rugged external conditions.
These residential spec homes were designed as two simple forms on a single site tied together by a shared carport and trellis structure with individual garden courtyards. Dark exposed masonry walls are balanced with a warm and natural cedar rainscreen exterior siding and exposed natural cabinetry throughout the interiors. Large expansive glass and multi-sliding door systems open up to their respective private gardens tying the outdoors into the indoors.
The smaller secondary structure, known as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (or ADU), was designed as a single-story unit. Double-height exposed ceiling structure and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows make this unit feel larger than reality.
For this renovation we sought to convey a more organized, and minimalistic lifestyle within an existing hill country home. The master suite and laundry room were reconfigured and updated with a natural material palette of reclaimed barnwood, concrete, glass, and steel.
A custom steel and wood feature staircase by Steel House MFG replaced the existing entry staircase. Floating countertops using custom concrete sinks by Massif Concrete helped make the bathroom and laundry area feel wider. The reclaimed wood was a tobacco-stained pine product (literally stained from years within an old tobacco factory) and was sourced from Reclaimed Design Works.
photography by Paige Newton
Great design should be enjoyed by all. We look forward to bringing you affordable solutions to build your next home or for your current home needs.
Studio and 1 bedroom plans are now available for purchase.
A single family residence designed for a young couple who recently purchased a wooded vacant corner lot in the Arbor of Great Hills community. Using Vaastu guiding principles, the form of the house defines a central communal core area. The core area consists of an outdoor patio with an conversation pit for lounging around the fire and watching movies, a BBQ island and outdoor dining area.
Tall, natural grasses cover the front yard harmoniously under existing Live Oak trees that line the site’s perimeter. A series of tall gabion walls berm the sloping topography to define a private side yard garden sanctuary to help separate it from an adjacent commercial property.
POP Austin International Art Show is a three-day interactive showcasing works from renowned and emerging contemporary artists from all over the world. The event includes work for sale by over 44 artists including Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Mr. Brainwash, and Austin's own Bale Creek Allen and Jason Archer. The "Pop Talks” platform featured industry specialists which allowed them to engage the community on cultural topics, artist ideas, etc.
Using our BIM software capabilities, we worked with the POP Austin team to develop the space from virtual concept to reality.
One of Austin’s prime music venues will get a complete overhaul to create a mixed use space including several bar and restaurant venues and retail. A glass seating enclosure cantilevers the street to observe the outdoor seating area, skyline, and street level views.
3 individual condo units were converted into a single spacious 3600 sf luxury unit. Homage was paid to the mid-century iconic concrete and glass tower by using minimalist design elements. Hand crafted millwork was repurposed to create a grand hall study. The master bedroom and bath were opened up and redesigned to take full advantage of the panoramic downtown skyline views. Multi-folding doors replace the existing floor-to-ceiling storefront windows to open the interior space to the existing narrow perimeter balcony.
This iconic 1900’s brick building, formerly Katz Deli, was brought back to life with modern updates. Repurposed to accommodate several bar and restaurant venues, a third floor was added to feature an outdoor rooftop glass enclosure pool bar to overlook a trendy part of West 6th Street.
Our entry into the Seaholm Competition needed to find a use for the existing neglected water treatment facility in the heart of downtown Austin. Our solution was to create a mixed use venue that allowed users to interact with the waterfront.
Taking advantage of the nearby hike-and-bike trail, we connected the trail to Town Lake with a boardwalk. Theboardwalk and waterfront sub-level doubles as a farmers market. A sunken plaza space was designed to create an isolated park. Imagine eating a meal, lounging around or watching a performance on a hot Texas day within a naturally cooling waterfall enclosure.
Un.box studio was commissioned to design this secondary guest home/ office to reference the primary residence originally designed a decade prior. Due to local regulations that would limit our size, heights, number of stories, parking, form, and location un.box had to kick into high gear to get creative to maximize its potential. We took advantage of the maximum allowable ceiling height to create a double height space with a mezzanine loft overlooking everything. A two-story window system was strategically placed on the south wall to allow indirect sunlight to pervade the entire space during all hours of the day. The lofted structure also doubles as a carport.
Located on a millet field in Manor, TX, this cafe, sports, and recreation facility takes advantage of the expanding demand and popularity of sand volleyball. The restaurant and courts are nested into the existing topography to create a series of natural viewing berms and an upper level viewing deck and bar.
Our office. Our home. Our community. We teamed up with other architects, engineers, contractors, interior designers, and like-minded businesses and individuals to renovate an old Pepsi bottling warehouse facility into a social space for productivity and recreation. Accomplished on an extremely small budget and a lot of sweat equity, this constant work in progress is now activated. Originally intended as a shared office space, we have taken advantage of the courtyard and open warehouse space to host art gallery and music events, and classes and seminars.
For desk rental information and event information, visit us at www.eastsidecollective.com
Architectural photography by Leonid Furmansky Architectural Photography
Event photography by David Hall
Located in the heart of the South Congress (SoCo) district, un.box studio helped create the first Cove retail clothing store. Large butt-glazed glass panels were used to take advantage of the views of the beautiful live oak trees and connect to the surrounding pedestrian traffic.
This speculative duplex project takes advantage of the the site's length, allowing for each home to have their own private outdoor dining patios and yard. The building employs a traditional form articulated with modern details. The juxtaposition of these design aesthetics appeals to suburban clients who want to bridge the gap between new metropolitan lifestyles and traditional housing typologies.
We designed this single-family speculative home to take advantage of simple forms, natural materials and tall ceilings. The building form was designed to conform with the site envelope restrictions and to fit within the scale and context of the neighborhood. The outdoor garden courtyard reflects the adjacent interior spaces to provide privacy towards an exposed street while bringing the outdoors and indoors together.