Nestled in the heart of Austin, Texas, the Pemberton Residence is a testament to the enduring charm of mid-century modern design, drawing inspiration from the iconic homes created by Joseph Eichler in Northern California. This unique dwelling stands out in its neighborhood, offering a stark contrast to the more common new constructions and extensive additions that populate the area.
Crafted by the local Austin firm Alterstudio, the Pemberton Residence was constructed with both cost-efficiency and speed in mind, boasting a modest budget that falls below the median construction costs of the vicinity. The design’s simplicity did not compromise on the rapidity of its build, making it a remarkable project in terms of both economy and time.
The residence spans 2,500 square feet and is a single-story structure designed specifically for empty nesters who have chosen to exchange their unused children’s bedrooms for a life closer to the vibrant downtown Austin, with its plethora of dining options and live music venues.
The design, influenced by California modernism and envisioned by designer Kevin Alter, seamlessly integrates light, air, and the fluid transition from outdoor to indoor spaces. Set in a verdant suburb, the home’s floor-to-ceiling windows, generous use of natural light, and natural materials all contribute to its standout simplicity and adherence to modernist principles.
Upon entering, one is greeted by a curved oak-clad wall that guides visitors into a U-shaped floor plan encircling an interior courtyard. This theme of curvature is echoed throughout the residence, with wood walls that provide a serene backdrop for the living room and wrap around the family room. A hidden door within these wooden walls opens to reveal the master bedroom, a clever design element that marries form and function.
Sustainability is at the core of the Pemberton Residence’s design, with careful consideration given to solar and wind orientation, efficient systems, and a strong indoor-outdoor connection. The home strikes a perfect balance between openness and privacy, allowing its inhabitants to enjoy the Texas sun in their own secluded sanctuary.
Photos by Casey Dunn