Natural Houses presents seven of the Austin, Texas-based firm's exquisitely crafted projects. Precise and cool, with forms often derived from the American vernacular of barns and cottages, these are painstakingly crafted houses made from regionally appropriate and aesthetically timeless materials. Natural Houses presents a range of sites and residences-from a small cabin in the woods to a multibuilding camp. Sited on a cliff, the House Above Lake Austin uses terraces to descend its steeply hilly site. The building's simple materials celebrate the site and climate not by drawing attention to themselves, but by blending in. The stone foundation is similarly tied to the natural stone of the mountain. Smooth plaster walls above the stone foundation appear to have been chiseled from the rock itself. In a deceptively simple boathouse the walls fold down to become impromptu diving platforms.
Exceptional photography captures the light and atmosphere of each project setting and illustrates how the firm rigorously expresses the design concept through detailing and construction. An introduction by Rick Sundberg of Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects and essays by Jen Renzi and Frederick Steiner chart the firm's evolution and influences.