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Rollingwood Residence


This house, located in Rollingwood near downtown Austin, is a remodel and addition project of an existing residence that was originally designed in 1951 by the late Austin architect Tom Shefelman. It remains a wonderful example of the mid-century style architecture that was growing in popularity at the time. Among other features, its original design focused on the use of natural cross ventilation to condition the space. Later, the interior was updated with air-conditioning equipment. Unfortunately, this resulted in the haphazard placement of duct furr-downs and HVAC closets which negatively affected the openness of the plan layout and concealed some of its existing wood ceiling and support beams. The new owners expressed their desire to restore the home to its original character but at the same time update it with modern features to support their lifestyle. The original family room had a raised floor and an attached under-utilized enclosed balcony. It had a large masonry fireplace that effectively isolated the undersized space from the nearby dining area and kitchen. Both the balcony and fireplace were eliminated to enlarge the overall space. Numerous operable high-low windows were incorporated to open up the space visually to the large backyard. A smaller ceiling-hung rotatable steel fireplace was added. New cork flooring was installed. The results were a more open and flexible space, allowing for the owners to regularly entertain their large group of friends. 
 As well, the original kitchen and utility space had a very low sloped ceiling and a narrow work area. The existing space was demolished, and the original appliances removed. Only the stainless-steel counter sink was refurbished for reuse. Its roof was removed and replaced with a taller roof, sloped in the opposite direction, allowing for morning light through its east facing clerestory windows. Its north facing exterior wall was reconfigured to allow for large operable counter-height and upper windows enhancing the space’s new raised ceiling and galley styled layout. The new kitchen now has a very light, airy and spacious feel.
 At the interior, numerous other areas were remodeled to include the bathroom, powder room, utility room and main hallway. New concealed HVAC systems were added throughout the home. At the exterior, a work room was added in the carport. The existing membrane roof was removed and replaced with a standing seam metal roof. Insulation was increased to improve its energy efficiency. All of the wood surfaces and beams throughout the interior and exterior were sanded bare, and restained or repainted. Landscape improvements included an entry walk-scape and a backyard raised wood deck.


Project Type:

Rollingwood, Texas


" After making numerous significant changes to the house, we feel that it now expresses what the original house truly wanted to be. " 

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