This single-slip boat dock is a result of liberation through constraints balanced with sensory experience. Devised concurrently with the property's new residence, the boat dock creates both tangible and implied connections of experience and shelter. The dock's geometry, structural details, and site-specific locations are derived through its parametric considerations. 

A mild steel roof composed of two triangulated planes is optimized for articulating views to and from the site as well as modulating direct sunlight exposure to establish a comfortable and functional year-round space in sun and shade. The roof's solar orientation influenced the overall structural frame to shift within the maximum 14' x 30' buildable area. Familiar and comfortable materials such as hardwood and natural stone are used where tactile interaction occurs. Durable materials like the steel structure are accentuated and refined deliberately for sensory experiences beyond their inherent duty of making a strong and reliable structural system. 

Part of this experiential and structural frame includes the perforated stainless steel screen on the north and south faces of the dock. Thousands of unique, laser-cut perforations are shaped and distributed along the surfaces based on desired sight lines, direct solar exposure, shade, and relate to the rise and run of the stairs and roof slope all while providing structural reinforcement for the overall frame. Intentionally crafted as an integrated component of the overall site conditions, the dock transitions to and from the designed landscape and lake, as well as from existing to new vegetation along the ravine. 

In addition to its role as nautical landing apparatus, the dock is a calibrated instrument for light and ventilation. The structure provides varied experiences across the ecotone - above the water, along the water, in the water, while immersed in a rehabilitated designed landscape. Together, this specific portion of Austin waterfront creates visual connection and unifies the various designed systems and places once again to the home overlooking the property.

Location: Austin, Texas | Phase: Completion 2020 | Project Manager: Ian M. Ellis | Design Team: Matt Fajkus, David Birt, Ian M. Ellis | Design Support: Sarah Wassel, Greg Arcangeli | General Contractor: Risinger Homes | Structural Engineer: Smith Structural Engineers | Landscape Architect: LandWest Design Group | Civil Engineer: Aupperle Construction | Photography: Charles Davis Smith, FAIA, MF Architecture 


 Texas Society of Architects Studio Awards, 2017

Selected Press

  • "Austin," Worth Magazine, Vol.26, edition 3, 2017