Hill Country House

The house is located in Austin, Texas, on a hillside overlooking the Colorado River and mountains beyond. It is designed for a young couple with two children, and grandparents who come to visit and stay for certain period of time.



The design intends to create a structure that people can perceive and appreciate both the “raw” nature outside the house: the mountain, the river and the trees, and also the “abstract” natural phenomena filtered through the structure, such as the reflection pool, the sound of rain water dropping into the pool, the light and shadow play by the sun penetrating through the windows, and the wind flowing through the space.

The house consists of a L shaped two-story volume connected by a one-story base. A courtyard with a reflection pool is located in the heart of the house, bringing daylight and fresh air into the surrounding rooms. The main living areas are positioned on the south end and open up for sunlight and uninterrupted views out to the mountains. Outside the dining and living rooms is a covered terrace with a fire place on one end, a place to get directly connected with natural surroundings.

Wood screens are located at along windows and the terrace facing south, the screens can move to different positions to block unwanted sun light at different time of the day. The house is mainly made of concrete with large glass windows and sliding doors that bring in daylight and permit natural ventilation.


We use a combination of tools and software to generate the presentation materials. The design process started with hand sketches and physical massing models then with computers. The digital model was mainly made in Revit, then exported to 3d Max for material and rendering. Photoshop was used to fine tune the images and add effect.




The project was loved by the client and widely appreciated by friends. They really like the simplicity of the house, and the concept of having the courtyard in the heart of the house that brings in natural elements into the house, the light, wind and sound, etc. They also love the natural materials used for the house, the contrast between the warm wood and cool, raw concrete, etc.

csi architects

CSI Architects is an innovative design group committed to creating built environment that has positive impact on the quality of lives. We work internationally on cultural, residential and commercial projects, and provide architectural, interior and urban design services for public and private sectors. Our diverse portfolio covers a wide range of project types including museums, libraries, offices, housing and mixed use development.

People and nature provides us never ending resources for inspiration. The fundamental human desires to live, learn, work and play and the basic elements of nature: the light, wind, water and greenery, plays essential roles in shaping our design. As a result, our work is characterized by its imaginative ways to celebrate human activities and intensify natural phenomena, and by its ability to connect people with nature and with each other.

Each of our project starts from an idea that is unique to a specific site and program, each idea derives from intense dialog with our clients and thorough analysis of the cultural and climate context of the site, and material and spiritual needs of the inhabitants. The realization of an idea is achieved by close collaboration with all parties involved in the project and guided by principles of human, enduring and sustainable design. In the end we deliver a project that is functional, economic and elegant, and above all, inspire people and transform communities.