Woodland Residences / Derrington Building Studio

Architects: Derrington Building Studio
Area: 465 m²
Year: 2015
Photography: Craig Washburn Pictures
Contractor: GreenTex Builders
Developer / Design Director: GHB3, George Blume
Structural Engineering: JM Structural
Landscape Designer: Casey Boyter
City: Austin
Country: United States

Woodland Residences, designed by Derrington Building Studio and completed in 2015, is a small residential community in Austin, Texas. Nestled among large trees, the project consists of four houses designed to address site constraints, including unusual property lines, a steep bluff, and numerous old-growth trees. The design maximizes space and privacy, integrates the natural surroundings, and uses a simple, durable material palette.

Woodland residences / derrington building studio

Woodland is a small residential community nestled among large trees in a neighborhood minutes from downtown Austin, Texas. Initially a simple program of four houses, the development grew complex due to the site’s conditions and restrictions. Challenges included unusual property lines, a steep bluff, and an abundance of old-growth trees, which constrained the buildable area. These factors raised privacy and view concerns due to the proximity of each house to the surrounding trees and each other. Additionally, permitting violations from a previous owner had to be resolved.

Derrington Building Studio embraced these challenges, allowing constraints to influence the design. The result is a unique experience that provides ample space and privacy for each dwelling while weaving between the trees and their roots. Windows were strategically placed to maximize indirect light and views of the surrounding greenery while minimizing undesirable lines of sight.

Woodland residences / derrington building studio

The material palette was selected for simplicity, economy, and durability. Tall, pre-manufactured windows are arranged in vertical bands within each dwelling to accentuate space height and capture framed views. White-painted gypsum walls sit atop an exposed concrete retaining wall that submerges one house waist-deep into the site, creating a novel sense of privacy and preventing the home from looming over the landscape. The white cement board exterior serves as a clean backdrop to the organic vegetation on the site. The development forms a unified, intriguing community of dwellings that integrates with the surrounding trees, offering a wooded retreat from busy city life.

Woodland residences / derrington building studio
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Project Location

Address: South Austin, Austin, Texas, United States

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