Type: House

Location: 6 Sugar Shack   Austin, Texas

The biggest challenge was evident from the first visit to the site. A house on a cliff in Westlake Hills is what the Dahlheims dreamt of. The site’s proximity to downtown Austin, and its stark beauty accented by the lush, green valley as a backdrop, made this project an exciting one for Sago. The final scheme called for a three story house, of which only two are visible from the street. The project’s small footprint was the solution for the topography issue. To inoculate the site as minimally as possible was the focus of the design, as well as the practice during construction. As with most of Sago’s projects, the Dahlheim house is supported by a hybrid structure of structural steel and light gauge metal framing for walls and floor framing members. In addition to the young clients’ basic programmatic needs, the Dahlheims requested the inclusion of an elevator to access all levels. This device enables the clients to inhabit the house perhaps the rest of their lives- one of the elements that addresses sustainable practices. Other green building elements include a solar panel system, Icynene spray foam insulation, insulated glass, and highly efficient appliances and fixtures. The concept for the house was developed around the maximization of the views beyond the cliff. All of the bedrooms are exposed to the expansive views, especially the main room at the third floor, which houses the kitchen, dining, and living room. The result is a feeling of being in a space even larger than it actually is. This project was selected by Architectural Digest for publication in 2009.

Scope of work: design, construction