ISSUE 78  |  Dry Gardens

Architect Visit: Celebrating Downtime with Andersson-Wise by Lake Austin

June 23, 2013 1:00 PM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

In our busy harried lives, “downtime” is a cause to celebrate; exactly what this boathouse on the steeply sloped banks of Lake Austin does.

Approached by a narrow footbridge over a deep ravine and most elegant in its simplicity, Texan firm Andersson-Wise’s boathouse appears to hover over the water in respite from the heat and concerns of life inland.

Photographs by Paul Bardagjy courtesy of Andersson-Wise.

anderssonwise_lakehouse_02Above: The boathouse floats above stilts and is clad in screened panels, which open out from the top like wings.


Above Left: The boat is stored underneath between the stilts. Above Right: The walkway on the side of the boathouse, which leads to the entry.

anderssonwise_lakehouse_11Above: The all-wood interior creates a dark and cool space for the humid summer heat while the screened panels keep the mosquitos away.


Above Left: A wood siding extends to become a shelf for the lantern in the window. Above Right: When open, the screened panels are held in place by wooden rods; easy to use as well as to maintain.

anderssonwise_lakehouse_12Above: The joys of summer!

anderssonwise_lakehouse_08Above: The plan of the simple temple to “downtime.”

anderssonwise_lakehouse_10Above: A section through the ravine, illustrating the narrow footbridge in the approach to the boathouse.

anderssonwise_lakehouse_07Above: A view down the narrow footbridge.

Andersson-Wise’s design is a cross between a boathouse and a screened porch.  See 5 Favorites: Summer Boathouse Roundup or 5 Favorites: Screened Sleeping Porches to see which you prefer.