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Casa de Sombra, Rollingwood, TX

Casa de Sombra

View from entry gate looking east towards master patio with bedroom above | Photo by Whit Preston

Carport and pool | Photo by Bade Stageberg Cox, Tim Bade

Courtyard Looking South

Pool gate interior | Photo by Bade Stageberg Cox, Tim Bade

View from entry towards kitchen, dining, and living room | Photo by Whit Preston

Interior view of kitchen | Photo by Whit Preston

View of living room | Photo by Whit Preston

Living room facing south towards courtyard | Photo by Whit Preston

Pool court facing south | Photo by Whit Preston

Guest apartment stair | Photo by Whit Preston

Upper level bedroom hallway | Photo by Whit Preston

Upper Bedroom

Upper level bedroom hallway facing north | Photo: Bade Stageberg Cox, Rob Bundy

Balcony overlooking living room | Photo: Bade Stageberg Cox, Tim Bade

Pool Court Night

First Floor Plan and Site Plan

Second Floor Plan


A new single-family residence in Rollingwood, Texas was designed to capture the movement of light and shadow on the surfaces of the house, creating spaces that feel alive and intimately connected with nature. Situated on a limestone bluff 8 feet above a suburban neighborhood street, the home is a private environment with a richly planted landscape and views of downtown Austin. The house stands between Live Oaks at the rear of the site and an ash tree in the front yard, stepping in section to follow the topography of the site. The house is organized around a central courtyard and pool, providing an outdoor gathering space for the family. The U-shaped plan floods the pool court with southern sun. Large roof planes extend beyond the house, casting shadows and protecting southern and western-facing exposures from direct sun in the summer. Sun-tracking computer modeling was used to calibrate the roof planes to protect the interiors from direct sun from April through October and provide passive solar heating in the cooler months.

Outdoor spaces connect to the interiors through shaded glass walls, allowing the Courtyard, Living Room, and Back Patio to be experienced as one continuous space. Movable shutters provide sun control, letting dappled light through to animate the interiors. The shutters are formed from water-jet cut aluminum panels inspired by moon phase charts. The perforations are bent at random angles to form a light reflecting louver for each opening. The shadows cast heighten one’s sense of the movement of the sun and the passing of the day. The perforated panel design is also used for a carport screen, courtyard gates, entry gate, and custom exterior light fixtures. The use of the perforated panels outdoors creates conditions of dappled light on paving and wall surfaces similar to those of the interior. Natural materials used throughout the house: warm red-brown mesquite, ground concrete floors, sanded aluminum, board-form concrete, and weathering steel all contribute to a palette that speaks of the desert climate, our sense of touch, and the patina of time.

PROJECT TEAM: Timothy Bade, Jane Stageberg, Martin Cox, Rob Bundy, Eimear Arthur