Tribeza’s October Issue Showcases Innovative Austin Architecture
Explore a family-run construction business, historic buildings across the city, tricks for improving your space and more
By Carrie Crowe
Cover photo by Cate Black
Words that I never thought I’d use together — “luxury” and “tree house.”
Over the last few years, anyone who’s been in the process of building a home has had the same headaches: shortages, supply chain issues, long waits and figuring out how to construct a new home sustainably and ethically. Insert the Escobedo Group. This 35-year-old family-run construction business has developed a prefab system called the DARIO Panelized System. They are able to assemble a home on site in a matter of days — not months — and create way less waste. One of their recent projects was a special guest house suspended 12 feet in the air, nestled in the trees.
Originally dreamed up by two little girls, the house is set atop a steel support system that’s designed to mimic tree trunks. The structure appears to be floating in the air among the foliage. Mirrored panels reflect the tree canopy and lake, and floor-to-ceiling mirrored glass cubes form the bedroom and bathroom spaces — truly breathtaking!
“This started as a tree house for the clients’ children and morphed into an art project that everyone wants to stay in,” says interior designer Fern Santini.
Whether you enjoy having your head in the clouds or your feet firmly planted on the ground, you’ll want to check out this month’s Austin Eye View series — focusing on architectural insights, including tips and tricks for creating your own space. We call on four local experts including Studio Penhaskashi, Raise Design, CG&S Design-Build and Urban Home Builders. They lend their expertise in traditional architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and home building.
When asked what people should pay most attention to when working with an architect, Joshua Penhaskashi says, “The architect’s ability to listen. There are so many details that are significant to a client and important to be incorporated into a project. An architect that listens will be able to bring these details to fruition with ease. Simply being a talented designer is not enough when it comes to having a highly functional space.”
With the intense heat we’re experiencing in Central Texas, we ask Rachel Raise what we can do to keep our landscaping alive. “Plant native plants; they are used to our drought conditions and can also handle when we do get heavy rain out of the blue. Other tips are to use drip irrigation systems, which use less water than sprinklers but are targeted on each individual plant and root zone. Also, have a rainwater harvesting system. Plants prefer rainwater and with the torrential downpours we tend to get, it is a great way to save water and help your landscape thrive. Plus, the city has a rebate program for them so it’s a win-win,” says Rachel.
MORE: Elite Austin’s Expert Team Makes Home Staging a Snap
Finally, our architecture issue spotlights three new restaurants and one bar that are proving that when it comes to design, it comes down to the very last detail. In “The Devil Is in the Details,” we discuss how interiors set the tone for your meal and often complement the menu. As they say, “you eat with your eyes first.”