Lake houses celebrate leisure. Formed with strong ties to their context, these residences echo their waterfront surroundings. Oriented to views and open vistas, contemporary lake houses emerged from vernacular building traditions. Built with careful attention to craft innate connections to the landscape, lake houses frame the outdoors while blurring the boundaries between exterior and interior space. These projects form a modern language for the rural retreat, escapes built for weekend vacations and permanent residence alike.
We’ve gathered together the following collection exploring modern lake house design through the lens of Austin, Texas. Showcasing diverse spatial organizations and formal approaches, the designs combine different programs and enclosure systems across multiple scales. Largely private and secluded, each project creates space for rest and relaxation overlooking serene shorelines. As spaces that reimagine daily life, they are both elegant and playful. Together, they invite reflection by revealing new ways to structure life in lakeside dwellings.
Sited across from Canyonland Nature Preserve, the Shore Vista lake house takes on an elliptical form with rounded dock edges and curved glass railing. Designed to maximize views, the project includes a sweeping curved stair and stepping stones to the lower level.
This lakehouse was made to maximize views at the confluence of Lake Austin and Hog Pen Creek. Celebrating outdoor living, the design was carefully situated between setbacks, easements and a flood plain. A stair-stepping boardwalk spine connects all elements of the house to the lake while craft, details and a reverence for materiality create a unique architecture.
Located on the banks of Lake Austin, this elegant home was designed around family and social life, as well as the desire to appreciate Austin. Formed among dozens of mature trees, the project includes large frontage on the lake as a home that’s warm, inviting and grand.
Peninsula Lake House was made to respect the site’s ecology while harnessing views to the lake. Materials like steel and slatted wood were used to adaptively reinvent the existing structure. Clean lines, refined detailing and varied levels of transparency are organized to bring natural light into the house and interact with the natural context.
Designed for downtime, this lake house rises above the water to create minimal impact on its surroundings. The structure was fabricated with a single framework of steel and anchored into rock beneath the water.
Overlooking Lake Austin, Cliff Dwelling is suspended on a narrow limestone ridge as an extension of the existing residence. Made to embrace the dramatic site, the project features an entry tower, large roof garden and a 160-foot-long cantilevered deck.
The Bunny Run Boat Dock creates an eclectic space to rest, relax and enjoy views out onto the lake. The project includes unique features, like an enamel-painted ceiling mural and cypress planks that extend from floor to deck.