Project ArchiTX: Palma Plaza House

Contemporary cool meets neoclassical character in Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects' Austin family residence renovation, Palma Plaza House. 

Project Palma Plaza House, Austin
Client Ryan and Kim Battle
Architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects
Photographers Atelier Wong Photography; Whit Preston Photography; Casey Dunn  

The clients, a family of four, began their search for a new home with one thought in mind: "Keep your eyes open for a smaller, centrally located, older home with renovation potential." Once the perfect 1935 Greek Revival cottage was located, the creative family brought in Austin-based Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects to begin the remodel.

The cottage had a strong, yet not overly unique or idiosyncratic, architectural character, which gave the clients the opportunity to express their own style while playing off of the original elements of the home.

The porch, chimney, and first-floor footprint were left intact to maintain historical character, while everything else was reconfigured to fit the needs of the active family. The existing roof was removed in lieu of a similarly sloped, new roof built with a plate four feet higher than the previous one.

Elements such as the master bath wing and the dormers facing the front of the house were done in an intentionally modern aesthetic.

The final result illustrates a purposeful contrast of traditional and modern vocabularies. Many aspects of the new construction were made to appear old to keep in with the historic charm of the house. Tackling old versus new, open concept versus defined spaces, and sleek versus textured, Palma Plaza demonstrates a house that reflects its family.

Located in the heart of the home and set against the contemporary palette of the renovated interiors, the orginal chimney organizes the home spatially and serves a sculptural ode in brick to the orginal craftsmanship of the home. – photos by Casey Dunn

The renovation maintained the profile of this Greek Revival cottage, while contemporary additions speak to the same the historic style yet subtlely pronounce themselves through vertical articulations of facade treatment and the manner in which they meet the roofing condition. – photo by Whit Preston Photography

Natural light infiltrates the interior through the addition of dormers to the primary stretch of the gabled roof, deftly preserving the historical character — with a twist. – photo by Atelier Wong Photography

First floor plan of the Palma Plaza House – courtesy Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects 

Second floor plan of the Palma Plaza House – courtesy Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects 

"Project ArchiTX" is a column on the Texas Society of Architects blog that highlights outstanding architectural projects in Texas, as well as projects designed by Texas architects. The series combines an architectural narrative written by the architect with a photographic essay illustrating the features and techniques demonstrated in the design process. Is there a project you'd like to see featured in "Project ArchiTX"? Email communications@texasarchitects.org to let us know.