Developed with only a 1,200 square-foot metal building and a goat barn for over twenty years, this three-acre property was purchased by Mark Neville, AIA, in 2016. Just fifteen minutes north of 1604, the neighborhood on Timberline Drive consists of a diverse collection of homes that range from modest 1960s and -70s ranch homes to larger, newly built residences. The large lots retain the ambiance of the Hill Country, with easy access to amenities.
The primary goal of the house design was to maintain and preserve the mature trees of the heavily wooded lot, while taking advantage of the sunrise and sunset view aspects. To test his concept, Mark placed a 15-foot “deer blind” on the high point of the property, where he could observe and measure the dimensions required to build for the best views.
The effort to minimize the impact on the trees and maximize views resulted in a modest, streamlined structure with 24-foot ceilings which reinforced the architect’s admiration of the design principles of Mies van der Rohe, who emphasized simplistic design with extreme clarity of purpose and an absence of superfluous decorative treatments. The spiral stair feature is the physical embodiment of this design goal, with its ultimately efficient use of the space and singular purpose.
The living space layout and modern simplicity is echoed in the clean window-frames and unadorned fixtures. The open plan and conspicuous lack of opulent finishes inspires movement and connection, allowing guests to absorb the open views of the trees as sunlight filters throughout the space. Climb the spiral stair to an upper loft and exterior balcony 15 feet above the main floor that capitalize on both the views and the sunset, as part of Mark’s original vision.
A unique opportunity to explore a space designed by an architect for his personal use, the home features personal comforts born out of Mark’s experiences and hobbies, including a mechanical winch on the upper balcony, and an access door and ladder to the upper roof to take in the views for miles in every direction with a glass of wine in hand.