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Big Horn
Lake Austin Home


New Construction 


Lakeway, Texas


2022 - 2023


Motif Architects

Hausman Homes

Alaska Engineering

Land Answers Inc

Saxon Loomis Engineers

AllStar Surveying

Delcon Environmental


3,499 SF House

800 SF Future Casita 


  • Challenging Topography

  • Situated on Lake Austin

  • Three Stories

  • Music Studio and Office

  • Entertainment focused


  • Site Planning

  • Architecture

  • Interior Design

  • Permitting

  • Consultant Coordination

  • Construction Support

Outdoor areas for entertainment and recreation play a key role in offering the residents with varied experiences, each with a function of its own. Engage yourself in open-air activities, take a dive in the pool or go fishing off the docks.

To a location that’s celebrated for its marinas and golf courses, this residence checks all factors, defining a home that’s magnetic and fascinating beside a lake.

Perched on a hill alongside Lake Austin is a modern expression of residential architecture. Stacked and staggered on a terrain, the ‘Big Horn’ project designed by Motif Architects visualizes an adventurous home that nestles within nature.


Every level captures stunning views of the lake that kindle its residents to step out for recreational activities and outdoor entertainment. Arriving by a boat would be the perfect entry to this residence, building momentum and curiosity as you step out onto the docks.

Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects

"With stunning views all around, Put on your bathing suite and dive right into the lake”

"The ‘Big Horn’ project is truly a home that has experiences beyond its four walls!"

Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas

Stepping out from the living space is an outdoor dining deck, idyllic for a big gathering.

Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
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Living Spaces

Direct Lake


Double Height Great Rooms

Grand Entrance


Designed for



Living Spaces

Direct Lake


Site Design

Welcome to your own personal paradise on Lake Austin.With commanding views of the water from nearly every window, this home feels like a true getaway. With 75' of waterfront plus a future boat dock & nearly 1/2 acre, this incredible lot in Apache Shores is made for a dream come true.

The site plan was orchestrated around existing trees, the flood plan, septic field requirements, setbacks, easements, topography and future development (pool and casita). A golf cart path allows easy access to the pedestrian bridge for lake access from any level.

Motif Architects - 2003 Big Horn - Site Plan.jpg

Direct Lake


Plan focused on the Lake

The floor plan follows a rectilinear composition, with prime areas facing exterior views, while services and baths bind the central hub. The crisp geometry followed in the design, neatly spaced and aligned to contours on site, defines a contemporary aesthetic that focuses on feasibility and adaptability.

The residence rises three floors, each with a separate outdoor deck looking towards the lake. The bridge connects to the ground level, which houses a patio that opens into a music studio and an office space. A driveway runs in from the apex of the hill, connecting to the first level, towards a spacious three-car garage with an auxiliary space for a golf cart or a small sports car. An expansive double-height living space cum an open island kitchen with all modern facilities dwell on this level with classic elegance; plush white and lightwood themed interiors.

From limestone veneer accent walls to polished and stained concrete floors on the ground level to oak flooring on the levels above - the interiors weave a subtle expression. Painted kitchen cabinetry with honed marble slabs for countertops and backlash, and stainless steel appliances add the next layer to the interior outlook. The décor and furnishings add the finishing touches to a grey and white alliance that induces a vignette mood and softness to the overall ethos. A blend of accent lighting illuminates the house using cove lights, backlights and hanging lights; they add a unique ambience to the spatial volumes.    

Interior Design
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Entertainment and Outdoor Recreation

The deck abuts a few rocky boulderer cliffs that step up to a relaxing pool area, visioned in a cream-beige theme. The next level integrates a sunken fire pit in the site's heart, which invites family and friends to gather around and sit by the heat during chilly nights. Further, the level crosses a small cleft in the terrain, and an intricately woven bridge acts as a passageway into the prime dwelling.


A minimalistic interaction of architectural features, such as black metallic columns, windows that trail an angular array of placement, and light wood textured walls give the residence a sense of warmth and orientation. Aiding to the captivating foliage of tall trees, the butterfly-like roof of the home beautifully enriches the setting.

3D Visulaization

The design phases over client meetings and generating several 3D models, tweaking and iterating concepts to understand the look and feel of the dwelling. The architects engaged in a thorough in-depth investigation of the site topography, generating it in 3D and modelling the home around the existing water body and sloping terrain.

The island platform in the kitchen with built-in seating serves its residents to gather around for a scrumptious meal.


The kitchen is also fully customized with Wolf-Subzero appliances. A spacious butler pantry and a built-in wine rack neatly tie into the arrangement beside the kitchen.

Topography Challenges

After the initial site visit, Motif quickly realized the site constraints and challenges due to the existing topography, soil conditions and ravine that runs through the site. The septic leach field requirements and the "flood plane" also limited the placement and size of the house. Thus a larger team of experts were required, including sub-consultants, contractors , civil, and structural engineers, along with rights attorney and permit expediter, were roped in parallel to aid the design to progress forward and manifest to its ultimate form.


Due to the limited "buildable" area, Motif proposed a 3rd level to work with the land - not against. This opened a great opportunity to place the music studio and double office suite on the lowest level, surrounding a majority of the walls with the earth - a natural acoustical barricading from neighboring properties 

Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
Underground Music Studio

Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World... and what better way to celebrate such reputation, with a very own music studio. Nestled partially underground, this room has walls made from a QuietRock system, to allow minimal acoustical interruption to both neighboring properties. Also located on the lowest level is a private bathroom and double occupancy office space. A door leads to the lowest patio deck, where an outdoor shower and golf cart charging station can be found.

Smart Home

Other features include smart home appliances, thermostat, lighting control and audio systems. An electric vehicle charging point is provided in the garage. Anodized aluminum storefront and curtain wall windows, with mechanical roller blinds, bring in efficiency and sustenance.

Mono-stringer Staircase

A three level, steel mono-stringer staircase takes flight from the living area to the second level. Interlaced by connecting passages, this floor embraces two guest bedrooms with attached baths and a primary bedroom with a large bath and a walk-in wardrobe.


Two guest bedrooms, laundry room with a kitchenette, storage and the primary bedroom are  found on the highest level, The primary bedroom steps out onto its own private sun deck, perfect for an evening to enjoy the mesmerizing surroundings and panoramic scenery.

Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas
Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas


The exterior fascia exhibits a contrasting play crafted by metal panels, limestone, board and batten with ship lab fiber cement board. Each element chisels a distinct character to the abode. Composite wood decking to limestone blocks in retaining walls etch a bold stroke to the dwelling’s identity!

The exposition of large windows in the living area captures the entire lake waterscape. An oversized stone fireplace with modern casework and a separate wood-burning stove add to the living room’s distinct features.

Private Access

Extensive coordination between the civil engineer, septic engineer and architect resulted in a discreet golf cart path that provided access from level 1 to the ground floor patio. This allows for a golf cart to be stored and provides shuttle service for guest musicians  / our office visitors to the lowest level of the house, without going through the actual front door. 

Integrated path lighting provides a dramatic lake entrance in the late evening hours.

Lake Austin Home Custom Motif Architects Lakeway Texas

Structural Engineering

The residence sits over 80 structural piers, ranging from 26 to 32 ft depth, designed by an Austrian engineer. Supported on sandy loam soils, integrating this multi-tiered home on a challenging topography establishes a design that defines at every level- from the foundation to the roof.


As a design firm, we take pride in the fact that our process integrates clients and their vision throughout the entire project.


To showcase the exciting design work our firm creates each day, we have a blog series to feature what we currently have ‘on the boards,’ construction progress and pro tips.

Stay tuned as we share construction progress of this exciting project. 

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