In Texas, Andersson Wise signs a houseboat garage assembled by a floating carpenter’s workshop.
Dive into the water directly from the living room? If you are lucky enough to own a house like this, with your feet soaking in the lake, as light as an insect that just touches the surface before taking off. This is Lake House, a pile-dwelling set in the rocky bottom of Lake Austin, Texas, born from the inspiration of the local studio Andersson Wise.
At first glance you might think that it’s just a boathouse, since the lower level is designed specifically to moor a boat, but the beauty arrives above: here nestles a convivial space, with a grill and living area, where you can eat after a cool bath or be enchanted by the view.
Nature all around is a majestic spectacle reserved for the few. To get to the house you have to walk along a path almost half a mile long, which climbs a wooded hill and then passes through a wooden and steel walkway, suspended on a sheer drop of sixty meters. At the end of the walk, the mirage of the lake opens up, where the house is a discreet guest, designed to minimize the environmental impact.
A single steel frame was assembled in Houston and then transported to the site by barge. This prefabricated skeleton was then hooked to sturdy pylons sunk into the water. The walls, floors, ceiling and fixtures made of Ipe wood were added directly on site, with the help of a “floating carpentry” that allowed the interventions to be managed in a flexible and eco-friendly way.
The idea of not interfering too much with the landscape is also reflected in the design: minimal and bare, the house is a floating box that does not disturb the horizon. Part of it is covered in dark wood, while the steel elements are painted with a protective zinc, whose delicate pewter colour imitates the shades of water and sky.
Three sides of the structure are equipped with full height convertible awnings that open to allow a quick dip, but also a good air circulation, ideal on hot days that are the norm around here. The closed south wall contains a storage cupboard and a niche that frames a Swedish kerosene lantern, which you would expect to see on board a boat during a slow night navigation. Lake House has a liquid soul, a bit of a dock, a bit of a refuge, and when in the dark that light shines, in the quiet that becomes absolute, it is the only glow besides that of the stars.