Mid-century modern renovation

The Balcones Residence was originally designed by Roland Roessner, a University of Texas professor and noted modern home architect. When clients bought the two-bedroom home from the original owners, they scrutinized all things mid-century modern and hired local firm Clayton & Little to oversee a sensitive renovation of the 165-square-foot building.

The house was designed with clean lines, simple shapes and modest and affordable materials. The architects tried to keep the home’s original character by adding square footage, updating the finishes and improving energy efficiency.

The entrance to the house has been changed. Brick walls were added to create an open-air garden that sets a more formal entrance sequence. On the north side, the team added a box-shaped volume containing an office and utility room. Windows were added in the backyard of the family room and living room – a feature that was part of Roessner’s original design.

Significant changes were made to the kitchen, which had not been renovated since the house was built. To create a more open public space, the team removed a unit that served as both a room divider and a structural component. A new steel beam and column were installed to compensate for the loss of the supporting unit. Other new elements in the kitchen include polished quartzite countertops, white cabinets and cork floors. Original features such as wood paneling and a walk-through window between the kitchen and dining room have been retained.

The home’s two bedrooms have been combined into a single master suite. One side of the room is wrapped in warm mahogany while the other has a large window overlooking the courtyard. Special touches include air grilles that line up with the grain of the wall paneling and a custom bed frame that houses the owner’s motorized bed.

To improve the home’s energy efficiency, the team upgraded the building’s envelope by installing new insulation and double-glazed windows. Photovoltaic modules were installed above the carport and the guest house. Get more of this cool home below!

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