2902 At The W Residences
A collaboration between Page and Furman + Keil Architects, 2902 at the W Residences is a love letter to Carlo Scarpa that overlooks Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. Muted tones, soft, smooth textures, and purposeful lines define the 3200-square foot residence. Inspired by the Italian architect’s interest in color and materiality as well as his fascination with vertical sections and edges, the team and their client sought to create a series of intimate spaces seamlessly flowing into one another as the layers are peeled away.
Page Principal and Director of Interior Architecture Wendy Dunnam Tita and Furman + Keil Architects Principals Gary Furman and Philip Keil had collaborated with the client on his previous residence, and the team was accustomed to highly creative, interactive discussions. 2902 presented an opportunity to bring the feeling of a crafted, custom home into a downtown condominium setting. For the client, it had to be specific, unique and true to his design sensibilities — warm yet spare.
Butter, mushroom and salt are the basis of the color palette. Consistent, precise detailing and the generally understated tones rely on single materials used in several applications. Steel, patinated brass, plaster and rosewood finishes define screens, floating ceilings and elegant shelving. Every detail in the three-bedroom, three-bath residence is thoughtfully realized. “2902 purposely responds to the pancake of the high-rise,” notes Dunnam Tita. It is not an open plan, and the emphasis is on layers and reliefs rather than flat surfaces. Screens denote intimate spaces, and are the basis for the layering throughout the residence. “We thought of the screens as ribbons pulling you into the residence, from the entry to the master bedroom,” says Keil. “They separate and connect 2902 spatially and visually.”
Working within the confines of the concrete shell proved both a challenge and opportunity for Keil and Dunnam Tita. “It’s very different to come to a residential project with plumbing lines and windows in place,” says Keil whose firm is well known for its single-family residences. “The master bathroom didn’t come together until we came up with the raised plinth, which allowed us to both relocate fixtures and define the space.” Keil and Dunnam Tita integrated some of the owner’s existing polished chrome fixtures and recessed ceiling lighting, complementing them with additional dark steel and patina brass fixtures and introducing a Lindsey Adelman light for the dining room. “We decided to embrace and play with a variety of finishes,” notes Dunnam Tita, “and it worked. The materials all came together.”
Collaboration continued throughout the design and construction process. Additional material choices include inspiration from the client including the Silverthorn travertine in the master bath and Vogue Bay glass tile in the powder room. The precision of the detailing and material tolerance required a knowledgeable, experienced contractor and team of dedicated craftsman. “Scott Smith of Pilgrim is trained as an architect,” says Keil. “His eye for detail was fundamental to the final execution.” Dunnam Tita adds: “We talk a lot about the role of craft in our projects. 2902 is successful because of the contributions by Sloan Houser, Chris Honea, and Jonathan Duke.” Quiet surfaces with layers on top and the silky plaster marked by steel edges are a twenty-first century conversation between Scarpa, Keil, Dunnam Tita, and their client.
Other members of the project team included general contractor Pilgrim Building Company, Honea Woodworks, Steel House MFG and Sloan Montgomery Houser.