Five Yard House By Miró Rivera Architects Creating Warmth With Style

The Five Yard House is part of a group of century-old bungalows that make up one of Austin’s oldest neighbourhoods. The building was deteriorating and abandoned when the owners, a retired couple, bought it to be closer to downtown in a walking neighbourhood. Despite its state, the bungalow was chosen by the clients to be preserved and restored. A modern addition behind it, designed around a series of landscaped outdoor spaces, breathes fresh life into the site while maintaining its history.

Latin American Architecture Being Incorporated In The Five Yard House

Five Yard House / Miró Rivera Architects,© Paul Finkel

The finished residence occupies the property in a way that is fundamentally different from the single-family homes that are prevalent in American cities. The home was designed as a succession of solids and voids scattered around the lot, rather than as a single object floating in the middle, as is customary in Mediterranean and Latin American architecture. Each blank is transformed into an outdoor yard that is developed in tandem with the indoor area it serves, resulting in a dynamic interaction that the owners encounter in their everyday lives.


The scale and aspect of the surrounding neighbourhood are preserved by the painstaking restoration of the historic house, which includes repairing its rotting log-pile foundation. The original bedrooms have been transformed into guest quarters, while the living areas have been turned into an office and a media room. The old plaster was removed in selected spots to reveal the underlying shiplap as accents, and the original hardwood floors and architectural woodwork were restored.

Other Major Elements Existing In The House

Five Yard House / Miró Rivera Architects,© Paul Finkel

A noteworthy element of the large hallway leading from the front door is a connection “bridge” that serves as an extended threshold, transitioning from the old to the new house. A U-shaped expansion beyond the bridge embraces a central courtyard, utilising the deep site and opening up to the landscape with floor-to-ceiling glazing that contrasts with the bungalow’s punched windows. The distinctions between the building and the site begin to blur at this point.


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