Matt Fajkus Architecture /
The University of Texas at Austin

From the Jury:

It’s an elegant sculpture made of simple materials. It treads as lightly as the zoning would allow on this site, which has a certain — for a private residence — social quality to it. There’s just a joy in looking at it. It really stands up as architecture: the way it filters the light, the way it provides viewing areas, indoor-outdoor space, hovering above the water.

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, and immersed in a rehabilitated designed landscape.

A stainless steel roof composed of two triangulated planes is optimized for articulating views to and from the site, as well as modulating 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-ft-by-30-ft buildable area. Durable materials like the steel structure are accentuated and refined deliberately, to provide sensory experiences beyond their inherent duty of making a strong and reliable structural system.

The structural frame is clad with a parametric perforated steel screen. Thousands of unique, laser-cut perforations are shaped and distributed along the surfaces based on desired sight lines, direct solar exposure, and shade, and they register the rise and run of the stairs and roof slope 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.

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