The height of summer in Austin, Texas, brings average temperatures in the high 90s and air thick with humidity. However, homeowners of Soaring Wings by local architect Winn Wittman will have it made in the shade. Literal wings of red iron attach to the structure, creating a shadowing effect to cool the home from the hot Texas sun. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the surrounding West Lake Hills greenery, yet the home still does not overheat. Where the wings do not cover, motorized mesh shades programmed to an astronomical clock raise and lower with the sun. A black granite pool and shaded rock garden allow for further refuge from the elements.
Completed in 2007, the four-bedroom, 6,069-square-foot residence has won several architecture awards, and it features in the upcoming Terrence Malick-film Weightless. Beyond the obvious exterior wings, the home divides its interior layout between two different wings. Living, eating, and entertaining spaces encompass the public wing, with bedrooms in the private wings. A two-story glass-and-steel bridge connects them.
The project took four years to complete; as metalworkers crafted the red iron exterior, woodworkers matched vertical grain fir veneer for cabinets, and stonemasons installed 17,000 pounds of locally quarried shell stone. Sotheby’s has listed the 202 Redbud Trail address (just a 15-minute drive from downtown Austin) for $5.46 million. (Inquiries: Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, Carole Martin, 512.633.5154, sothebysrealty.com)