Texas-based architect Michael Hsu designs the kind of homes that make you want to stop and talk about architecture as the brilliant art form it can be. One of his most well known endeavours is the Ziker Residence, aka the Texas Glass Wall House in Austin.

This magnificent home at the top of Barton Creek is more like a compound or retreat in terms of outward appearance, and a Zen-like 180 degree turn from the overcrowded SXSW atmosphere just miles away. Everything flows together in a harmony of glass, steel, concrete and landscaping, centred by a breathtaking open courtyard that connects the living and sleeping quarters. And let’s not forget the view. Through the omnipresent glass walls one has a virtually omnipresent view of downtown Austin.

Natural light thrives in the Ziker Residence for obvious reasons. It pours in through the massive glass walls and creeps through the spaces between the roof plane and windows. Elsewhere are white stucco walls contrasted by dark brick and wood and tasteful pillars of steel providing a soft industrial touch. Everything about this house represents how top-tier architecture can instil serenity and appreciation through sight alone. One can only hope the folks living here are as balanced as the house itself.


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