Ravel Architecture builds an efficient in-law unit in one family’s backyard out of board-formed concrete and steel.

The clients were keen on energy efficiency. "We had actually helped them set up solar for their main house, and with the Casita, we also went above-and-beyond by creating a thermal break in the concrete," Finnell says. The slider is from Western Windows, and the other windows were custom-built with double-paned glass and steel frames for further temperature regulation.

Located in Austin’s historic Hyde Park in the company of 1920s-era bungalows, the Concrete Casita by Ravel Architecture is distinct with its contemporary, low-lying profile, yet feels at home with the neighborhood. Designs to become in-law’s quarters or serve as a versatile, indoor/outdoor space for an active Austin family, the 600-square-foot structure has a rugged makeup of board-formed concrete, rusted steel, and glass.

Ravel Architecture partners Alex Finnell and Devin Keyes chose board-formed concrete for the exterior, scoring the vertical boards to "get a really nice texture and interesting dynamics," says Finnell.

Ravel Architecture partners Alex Finnell, Devin Keyes and Dan Fields chose board-formed concrete for the exterior, scoring the vertical boards to “get a really nice texture and interesting dynamics,” says Finnell.

Jake Holt 

“The clients are actually friends with my family,” says architect Alex Finnell. “They were interested in doing something on their property that was good for the in-laws when they came to visit, and very versatile.”



The homeowners had few directives for the architects but were drawn to the simple, sustainable materials that wouldn’t create visual clutter. 

The guesthouse is intentionally pushed back in the homeowners’ backyard to create a feeling of privacy and seclusion.

The guesthouse is intentionally pushed back in the homeowners’ backyard to create a feeling of privacy and seclusion.

Jake Holt 

The clients were keen on energy efficiency. "We had actually helped them set up solar for their main house, and with the Casita, we also went above-and-beyond by creating a thermal break in the concrete," Finnell says. The slider is from Western Windows, and the other windows were custom-built with double-paned glass and steel frames for further temperature regulation.

The clients were keen on energy efficiency. “We had actually helped them set up solar for their main house, and with the Casita, we also went above-and-beyond by creating a thermal break in the concrete,” Finnell says. The slider is from Western Windows, and the other windows were custom-built with double-paned glass and steel frames for further temperature regulation. 

Jake Holt 

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Concrete Casita in Austin Does Double Duty as Guesthouse and Gear Storage

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