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What you’ll see on the Austin Modern Home Tour 2020

The many manifestations of contemporary modernism

Ridgewood Residence House
Leonid Furmansky

The 12th annual Austin Modern Home Tour, founded by GoodLife Luxury and produced by the Modern Architecture and Design Studio, takes place on a cool date if you’re into numerology (or into something): February 22 (or 02.22.20, as graphic designers sometimes like to put it). As always, the tour opens up some of the city’s best examples of modern and contemporary residential design to the public and provides opportunities to speak to the architects and builders that conceptualized and executed those homes.

The 2020 tour mix is stylistically varied, with all the homes interpreting what “modern” means in different ways. Some, such as a contemporary by Foresite in South Austin, could add “farmhouse” to that descriptor without being off the mark. Then there remodels of homes that go back further on the modernism timeline—one by Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture that harks all the way back to prairie style, a midcentury modern home built in 1964 by Austin’s A.D. Stenger and renovated and updated by Matt Fajkus Architecture and Miars Construction, and another midcentury, built in 1953, remodeled and expanded by Bercy Chen. A East Austin home designed by Elizabeth Baird looks even further back with a modernist take classic bungalow style, with (surprise) new construction, and others lean further forward, into full-blown contemporary style.

Most of the tour homes embrace the importance of indoor-outdoor flow and transition, a modernist tradition. DK Studios represents with multistory home that offers both expansive decks and walls of glass withe direct views to the surrounding forest’s understory and canopy levels of oak and cedar trees that covers the hillside backyard. A two-story contemporary by Joseph Design Build in South Austin does something similar in a more urban fashion.

Regardless of how they manifest the modernist ethos, all of the participating homes evidence the value of understatement, with clean lines, unfussy details, and large, open spaces.

Below are a few peeks of what tour participants can anticipate. The tour afterparty takes place at Starlight Village—the Leander planned community that features all midcentury-style homes and community facilities—and is a must-see if you haven’t been there.

Foothill Residence, Colorado Foothills

Andrea Calo
Andrea Calo

Architect: Calvin Chen, Bercy Chen Studio

Builder: Bercy Chen Studio

Landscape: Open Envelope Studio

Photography: Andrea Calo

Originally built: 1953

New York Avenue, Central East Austin

Jake Holt Photography
Jake Holt Photography

Builder: Texas Construction Company

Architect: Elizabeth Baird

Photography: Jake Holt Photography

Hangar 1111, East Austin

East Austin

Builder: Thurman Homes

Architect: Kipp Flores

Interior Finishes: CC Studio

Photography: Virtuance

South Park, Dawson

Builder: Newcastle Homes

Architect: Michael Diani, MADWORKS Architecture

Photography: Newcastle Homes/Corona Visual

Ridgewood Residence House, Rollingwood

Architect: MF Architecture

Builder: Miars Construction

Photography: Leonid Furmansky

Originally built: 1964

South 2nd Street, Bouldin Creek

Developer: Joseph Design Build

Interior Design: Slic Design

LED Lighting by ATX

LEDPhotography: Lars Frazer

Exterior Images Courtesy Joseph Design Build

Modern Prairie, Northwest Austin

Architect: Alan Barley, AIA and Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA

Builder: Oliver Custom Homes

Photography: Mark Adams Media

Mount Larson Road, Mount Larson

Architect: DK Studios

Builder: LBR Homes

Photography: Courtesy LBR Homes

Originally built: 1992

Piccus Residence, East Austin

Builder: Verde Builders Custom Homes

Architect: Pavonetti Architecture

Photography: Twist Tours

Portofino Ridge Drive, Barton Creek

Architect: Mark Carlson, Cornerstone Architects

Builder: Matt Butterfield, Butterfield Custom Homes

Interiors: Amy Lutz, Butter Lutz Interiors

Photography: James Leasure, MA+DS

#TheAntiFlip, Zilker

Build & Design: ESS Design + Build

Photography: TwistTours / Allison Cartright

South 3rd Street, Bouldin Creek

Architect & Builder: Forsite Studio

Photography: Ryan Baldridge