This house is located on a 200-foot-long triangular site with a 40-foot setback, so architect Kevin Alter was limited in what he could design. His response: a thin home that gently follows the shape of the site and brings in abundant light.

The client wanted a residence where he could live on one level, but one that would be desirable to future home buyers. Those parameters shaped the plan’s hierarchy on three floors. The entry level contains a half bath and a library, while the second level features three bedrooms, two baths, and a dining room for when it’s needed. “He basically wanted a one-bedroom loft,” Alter says, noting that the core spaces—kitchen, living room, and master suite—are on the third floor.

Having never lived in a modern home, the client was apprehensive about clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. Alter assuaged his fears with a warm but contemporary mix of materials, including glass, steel, oak, marble, and limestone. The east elevation is clad in a rich 16-foot ipe screen for shading, but two bifold sections permit views of the lush greenbelt and the city skyline beyond.

Category: Custom home, 3,500 to 6,000 square feet
Entrant/Architect: Alterstudio Architects, Austin, Texas
Builder: Crowell+, Austin
Landscape architect: David/Peese Design, Austin

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Austin, TX.