The 2010 AIA Austin Tour of Homes opened Saturday October 2 to record attendance. Estimates were that nearly 6000 tickets were sold, up from about 4000 last year. From my stand atop the staircase at Hugh Randolph Architect's house on the tour as a Docent, I would say that may be low for the actual attendance.
Perhaps it was the large number of remodels on the tour this year, or the real or imagined homage to "Mid- Century Modern" driven by the television series "Madmen" that brought in such record numbers. Certainly remodels are perceived to be more accessible to the average individual, especially in this economy. Maybe it was the glamorous jet set imagery that reminded many of us of the Sean Connery "James Bond" movies of the 60's, "Matt Helm" with Dean Martin, or even James Coburn’s "Our Man Flint".
There were definitely trends showing up, interestingly quite consistent, although with different manifestations in each house, as interpreted by the individual firms. Minimalism was a definite theme with extreme attention to detail, especially where tricky installations were involved as with integrated cabinetry containing everything from refrigerators, pantries, televisions, closets and fireplaces...you name it, it was seamlessly integrated into a wood, stone or sheetrock marvel. Small or even missing baseboards with tiny reveals added to the sleek tailored feel of the properties.
Exposed door and cabinet hardware, in particular barn door track systems could be seen in most every house, including some used on frameless glass shower doors for an entirely new effect. Strong horizontals, mixtures of wood species both exotic and common, and multi surface glass finishes all added immense interest to the open plan spaces.
In kitchens and baths Caeserstone, Silestone, and Natural Soapstone countertops led the way, with cantilevered cabinets, and rectangular glass tiles shown in vertical and horizontal installations that extended beyond the typical backsplash field. This was the year of the "party shower" huge with floor to ceiling windows, and "Hollywood Superstar" closets- expansive, and ultra functional with glittering chandeliers.
Most definitely the Architects challenge, and the creativity it inspires is it's own reward, and thankfully ours as well. Congratulations to all the Firms, individuals, and Builders involved in this years Tour for a stellar presentation.
I will be writing more about each individual house over the next couple weeks, so please stay tuned.!
Images below from AIAAustin.org
Webber + Studio, Architects - 2010 JH Jackson Photography
Third:Land, Inc. - 2010 JH Jackson Photography
Nick Deaver Architect - 2010 JH Jackson Photography
John Mayfield Architect - 2010 JH Jackson Photography
James D. LaRue Architects - 2010 JH Jackson Photography
Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects - 2010 JH Jackson Photography
Dick Clark Architecture - 2010 JH Jackson Photography