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Artist's Loft

Located in the Central Texas Hill country, this 1960’s barn was renovated to become a loft residence with an artist’s work space below. The owner was interested in celebrating the barn’s rough, industrialized aesthetic, which we achieved by contrasting the exposed concrete block with sleek, steel-framed glazing and grey-toned board and batten siding. What began as a dilapidated barn was transformed into a welcoming residence that enjoys natural light and encourages outdoor living. Photos by Robb Kendrick,









Brian Sowell Design Consulting

Team Members:


Principal, Project Manager

The design was developed in response to the opportunities of the existing structure and site. The cardinal orientation of the building and site topography encouraged us to open the south facade with a large expanse of glass and 8' double doors. This delivered an impressive view down the hillside and encourages outdoor living on the balcony. A cantilevered shade composed of solar panels protects the south-facing glass from excessive heat load during the summer, while in the winter, the sun's lower altitude bypasses the shade to help heat the interior.

The barn is surrounded by live oak trees, whose canopies begin around the second floor loft. Thus the self-supported steel framed balcony delivers a living space seemingly within the trees. The balcony deck features graphite infused salt-treated concrete while the edges of the balcony received industrial metal grating. The grating provided space for the client to place potted plants and drain water without staining the slab.

Within the interior of the loft we added steel supports and beams as necessary to replace some existing wood framed bearing walls, allowing the loft to remain open between all the living spaces. The columns were carefully coordinated with the kitchen layout and living room furniture to minimize their intrusiveness. To maximize the loft's footprint we endeavored to capture as much of the "dead" space as possible. The low areas within the eaves provided space to conceal HVAC split system units and refrigerant lines, and were leveraged for living room storage and bedroom closets. One of the more unique portions of the design requested by the client was a queen size bed which is concealed within the eave space but pulls out from the pony wall into the living room. This provides the single bedroom loft with a second bed for guests when needed.

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