With its stunning design and jaw-dropping natural setting, this West Lake Hills home is a one-of-a-kind wonder.
Tucked away in a ravine on Spiller Lane in West Lake Hills is one of Austin’s most unique and innovative homes on the market, the epitome of the Organic Architecture Movement started by Frank Lloyd Wright. In fact, a Wright apprentice, Austin architect John Covert Watson, designed the 1978 home, which appears to be suspended over a ravine and waterfall among the rocks and features a signature domed roof made of steel and covered in plaster. With its floor-to-ceiling windows and rooms that embrace the surroundings, including the water feature, the 2,506-square-foot home truly celebrates the natural beauty of the area.
“We had this wonderful ravine, and the whole point of building there was to totally respect nature and not disturb it,” remembers Watson, who at 86 is still an active architect in Austin and is known for founding the Westcave Preserve. As an architecture student in the early 1950s, he left the University of Texas to accept a Taliesin fellowship from Wright, who was “exactly the same the age I am right now,’” recalls Watson with a laugh. “He was obviously a very active person and an inspiring person because he defied age.” Not wanting to become “Mr. Wright’s Pencil” and to forge his own creative path, Watson left Taliesin to design buildings in San Francisco before he and his wife moved back to Austin, where he built the home he’s lived in for a half-century just down the road from the Spiller Lane property.
The $1.59-million, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home was commissioned by the original owner, who lived there a few years before it was sold to its current owner, a highly respected home builder who recently upgraded the property, including modernizing the kitchen, all while maintaining the integrity of the structure. Says Eric Copper of Austin Portfolio Real Estate: “The ideal buyer is someone who has a true appreciation for architecture and appreciates the history behind the house and the legacy. It’s equivalent to buying a fine piece of art.” 512-413-1312