Page 119


WALKING ON AIR A structural glass catwalk adjacent to the north facing curtain wall joins the master bedroom upstairs to a library that overlooks the two-story space. The space opens to the side yard through a set of 16-foot sliding glass doors.

asserts. “When it comes to what goes into the house, first invest in the items that will make your home perform more efficiently, for a longer period of time.” Inspired by architect greats, such as Rudolph Schindler, and progressive design, Krager takes modern custom design to the masses. He reveals that keeping the costs down while keeping the design above a certain standard may be challenging, but it’s very rewarding. One of Krager’s recent projects, a 2,300-squarefoot central Austin home, boasts a balance of costeffective yet modern design. Custom millwork is featured throughout the home, fashioned of walnut and cherry plywood. A wine cellar is reached through a door at the back of the walk-in pantry and is visible through a peek-a-boo window in the kitchen. “Concrete floors were diamond polished

“I wanted to combine my analytical skills and creative skills within architecture into a design-build firm.” CHRIS KRAGER, PRINCIPAL to reveal the aggregate and provide a terrazzo effect,” Krager describes.

floors, CMU, and hardie-board, but retains a cheerful contemporary personality.

With innovative materials and even better design, Krager is shaping Austin with simple, yet sophisticated style. When it came to a 1,600-square-foot home in Barton Heights, he channeled the owner’s occupation as an artist to design a sleek, ultra-modern home. “The clients were looking for a modestly sized and scaled home and studio that was finely executed and detailed in a clean yet materially rich manner,” Krager tells. “The house was built around an existing swimming pool and articulated in a 16-foot steel structural bay that has a ‘z’ shape. The canted façade of the public leg of the ‘z’ shape gives the façade an extra dynamic at street view.”

Building green has become a hallmark of the firm. Over the past five years, Krager has designed, developed, and his business partner Russ Becker has built a net-zero subdivision. Krager’s development, SOL (Solutions Oriented Living) consists of modern homes with photovoltaic arrays on the rooftops, extra-dense insulation, and highly efficient heating and cooling. Ranging from 930 square feet to 1,800 square feet, 40 percent of the project will be affordable units with 20 percent sold at subsidized prices and 20 percent reserved for a local nonprofit to rent out. “It’s an opportunity to explore a model of development that proposes holistic sustainability, involving the social and economic components.”

Not only does Krager’s architectural style transcend a normal layout, but it couples high-efficient spaces with an eco-conscious ethos. A home on Rainey Street in Central Austin features tankless H2O heaters, high-efficiency HVAC, concrete

Krager’s design practices poise his Austin firm at the leading edge of a new movement that proves custom-designed homes can be affordable and green.

FALL 2011




Ebb & Flow


Ebb & Flow