Thomas Trutna, Architect

Earthen construction is common in most of the world, except for North America and, therefore, had a strong appeal to the South African clients.  This house is a new construction of approximately 4,000 square feet overlooking the Barton Creek Greenbelt.  By stretching the spaces of the home along the hillside, the design takes full advantage of the spectacular view, effectively harnesses the hilltop breezes through openings on the windward and leeward sides of the house and minimizes heavy excavation across the limestone ledges existing on this steep and fragile lot.  The 1,400 square foot rear covered porch provides ample space for outdoor living.  One of the most unique aspects of this home is the use of earthen construction.  The exterior walls are 18" thick rammed earth and the interior walls are 10" thick adobe block.  In addition to its' aesthetic appeal, earthen construction is intended to provide a tempering effect on the air within it.

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