Mid-century modern architect Harwell Hamilton Harris designed only two homes that were built in Austin. One of them, built in 1955 and called The Barrow Residence, is on the market. Currently the rare property is available only through real estate broker The Value of Architecture.
Harris was pretty much a California starchitect by the time he moved to Austin to become the first dean of the UT School of Architecture in 1951. He was an acolyte of Richard Neutra, and worked for him on the famed Lovell Health House.
Harris appreciated Neutra's use of prefab, modern materials and the sculptural qualities of Frank Lloyd Wright's work, but, according to his listing in The Handbook of Texas, was initially inspired by Japanese houses he grew up around in California.
All of those influences are apparent in the Barrow home. It references Japanese design and an appreciation of materials, especially wood.
The home has an open floor plan, and spaces flow easily from inside to out, with double doors leading to landscaped terraces. An exposed post-and-beam structure repeats throughout the house, with rafters extending beyond the building.
The centrally located home borders Camp Mabry's green space, is near Mount Bonnell, and has oak-covered grounds with views of the UT Tower.
Most original hand-crafted details remain, though the cook's kitchen and master bath have been renovated. Other standout features include walnut cabinets, white oak and cork floors, the stone fireplace, stainless steel countertops and appliances, and floor-to-ceiling glass.