Front facade showing one car garage at right. There is a two car garage on
left side of corner lot plan. Entry to two Bedrooms and central Den at
ground floor. Rear upper and lower decks shown below.
Rotonda second floor main entry above and below view from Kitchen/Breakfast.
Stairs at right below
Light comes through both sides of Living room Rotonda. Stairway to first
floor below and door to elevator. Door to upper rear deck to right of
Large Dining Room above, Kitchen with Breakfast area below overlooks views to
Large walk in Pantry at left, Powder Room above
Master Suite with large triple window with views to hills above. Master
Bath below, double doors to Master Suite
Large Master Closet with built in full size washer dryer, below
Ground floor Den with main stair. Views to both sides of house.
Small Kitchenette and Laundry at right. Two bedrooms with two full baths
on this floor, plus Office accessible from outside.
Plan for your Dream Home now. Order
ebook or CD here!
As built, above. Renderings, below.
This is an example of a Renaissance style layout with
the Piano Nobile, or Owner's quarters, on the second level. Double
exterior stairs allow entry at second floor Great Hall, (a surprise
geometry). Interior stairway connects to lower level which
contains two bedrooms with baths, one office, central den, utility room
and optional elevator. Covered rear porch and three car
garage. Swimming pool and formal garden option.
Second Floor has Great Hall, Ballroom/Formal Dining, Kitchen with large
breakfast and pantry, fabulous Master Suite with large walk in and
Boudoir, Powder room, and rear deck with view.
The design is Boxy but Good, and
is based on historic precedent with elegant period features. The
concept can be enlarged to palatial size or shrunk down to about 2,800
SF or less if desired. Alternative elevation is for an Italian Villa
(see above and home page, right column).
Please plan a visit in Austin for a tour as we progress to finish. The
house is in a new subdivision on the west of 360 loop, off of City Park
Rd and 2222. On a corner lot with creek in back,
privacy, and three mile views from second level! Community lake access/
ramp and play area.
This is a wonderful executive real estate buy with great
flexibility. Two families can practically live here, or elder
parents, etc. Expansive feel with space in the right places.
Office on ground floor with separate entry. Prestigious corner lot
with privacy. Stone accents and stucco treatment with classical
detailing. One of a kind dramatic rotonda feature with much
natural light and views.
Classical pool and garden treatment option on rear
elevation, French Manor Chateau style house
Boat ramp in Greenshores for Town Lake, with playground and
volleyball court, above. Greenshores Marina with docks, boat
storage slips, waterfront restaurant, etc. within 4 minute drive, below:
the American Luxury Home Available now on CD- rom. (click
below left) This is a history of the luxury home with sections on
working with an architect and builder, style, modern and traditional
approaches, etc. Also, companion volume:
Dream Home Design Questionnaire and Planning Kit (click right
below, available as PDF file via email)
Home Construction Photos and Detail History below:
Architect check details and framing,
private rear yard
Ground and long views over tree tops from
Master, Great Room, Breakfast/Kitchen
Elegant ceiling treatments with coves and
vaulted ceilings in Master, Kitchen, Great Room, and Ball Room
Executive Real Estate for sale or lease.
Rent this Austin Luxury Home for 1-2 years.
Creek runs behind corner lot property, left
Roofing installed, free standing interior stair from Den to upper floor, Rotonda
at entry door, Rotonda detail, Ball Room/Dining detail.
Left to right: Living/Rotonda front view, Rotonda
ceiling, Master bedroom ceiling, Ground floor view up, Vaulted Kitchen
Master Bath, Master Suite, Interior Stair at
View from second floor balcony rear deck, north
(metal railing to be installed)
Kitchen: will have beamed vaulted ceiling,
French period style ball feet under cabinets and painted/faux finished woodwork.
Master: Private boudoir, Master closet with
side by side washer/driers, His/Her vanities w/mirrored shelving
Sun drenched view from Rotonda facing south
window bank. Metal railing to be installed
Rotonda, three views, front entry stairs being
formed from concrete , will take limestone facing.
Southwest corner view with two car garage, one
car on opposite side next to office.
South facing upper deck with covered porch
below. Stairways to be built down to pool deck
Northwest view, (garage door behind tree)
Corner turret from Ball Room
Detail, front entry. Limestone columns
below and carved Ionic columns to be installed above on Piano Nobile
South rear detail, SW garage, Rotonda,
Southwest views from second floor
Kitchen open to Breakfast and view into Rotonda,
Rotonda round ceiling/ window detail
View from Den to south, covered deck beyond.
Interior grand stair curves on Rotonda lines above
Two car garage, Office/art studio on north
(direct access to one car garage and front lower covered entry)
View of Den with entry doors under front
covered porch as left, part of stairs showing at right top. Garage entry
at right, bedroom door at center. This area has another bedroom with bath
and small galley kitchen, washer and dryer.
CHATEAU/ VILLA/ MANOR HOUSE
Modeled after the actual historic
progression in living space and formal geometry from farm to palace,
this European inspired residence dazzles and makes an incomparable
statement. Not only is it elegant, the plan is quite flexible under a
variety of circumstances. It is a completely up to date architectural
design with modern amenities including an elevator. The basic design
can be adapted to Italian, French, or even Contemporary lines.
Italy and France, the Tuscan and Provence styled home has enchanted
every visitor and became the prototype design to emulate. For
centuries the simple house was the standard form in these
regions. It was an evolution that Apono/Henry has captured at its
Imagine the medieval farmhouse,
originally one story, which had to shelter family, livestock, and
store grain/supplies/tools, etc. As the farm and owner’s family
grew, two options were available. Either to build additional
structures to accommodate needs and/or build a second floor over the
first. These two avenues can be seen in the many examples dotting the
When the owner elected to build
above, they first installed a ladder or small staircase from inside.
But if animals remained inside the first floor, an exterior staircase
was built in order to avoid the obvious problems and the owner’s
living quarters were fashioned above. The rationale in part was that
heat generated below in winters would rise and supply some of the
warmth. The first floor fireplace flu was built upon and extended
through the second floor.
Now these living quarters became the
‘piano nobile’—an Italian term that literally means the noble level,
or owner’s suites. Over centuries, the compact two-story form gained
the reputation of simple construction and energy/materials
conservation. The same derivative in colonial America is obvious.
When the decision came by those with means to build anew or for the
first time, this same geometrical form was followed.
When nobility and royalty erected
palaces and chateau, this same model was followed in countless
examples. If you recall in Versailles, the king’s chambers and formal
suites are on the second level, not the first. The first floor
contained rooms for offices, livery, stores, guest suites and
reception rooms. The wonderful Linderhof in Bavaria is organized
exactly in this manner. In Venice, the palazzi on the canals have
similar space layouts. In fact, this historic idea was incorporated
in several of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs and was the model for
Corbusier’s ‘Villa Savoye’ in the 1930’s.
During the Renaissance, symmetry (as
in the human body) was deemed a guiding design principle. While the
rustic farms had single stairways usually off center, the larger new
villas being built by wealthy merchants and nobility in the south of
Europe incorporated central stairways or double flights on the outside
to offer a direct route to the piano nobile.
So, we have not really reinvented the
house -- John Henry Architect has reintroduced and packaged this superb notion
for the contemporary homeowner. Where there were storerooms and
animal stalls, now we have placed 3 garages, storage area or office
with private exterior entry, two secondary bedrooms with baths ensuite,
galley kitchen/utility room, and large central den/reception hall –
accessed from ground floor directly. There is a grand sweeping
interior stairway and an elevator to communicate effortlessly with the
The real surprise as one enters the
Great Hall is another Renaissance feature that originated from Rome’s
pantheon: a rotunda space. Palladio’s most famous villa, named after
Capra or now “La Rotonda”, includes a round central living area in the
middle of a cubicle with narrow hallways to exterior porches.
Close to Paris, French architects responsible for finishing Versailles
created the magnificent Vaux le Vicomte, which cleverly pushes the
circular area to an outside wall to gain direct view to the outside.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s reasoning to ‘go
up’ was simply to avoid the noise and distraction of street activity
in a bustling age of horse carriages, noisy new cars, and constant
pedestrian traffic. He was so inspired by this tree top view to the
outside world that he created his famous leaded glass based on natural
forms. Corbusier wanted to improve the view of the owners on a second
living floor and third level observation terrace. He also separated
the car and utilities (machines) from the living quarters.
This is a zoned design. A few
possibilities on livability are as follows:
Young Family: Can leave entire ground
floor unfinished (new construction) including elevator, and live
perfectly on second floor. Ballroom is actually double size, so one
bedroom with bath can be cut out of this space for young children.
Intermediate Family: Teens can move
downstairs with their own Den. Additional bedroom can be converted
from one of 4 car garage stalls for three total downstairs and two
Mixed Family: Two different family
groups or individuals can share space. Elevator can be used
exclusively without interfering with ground floor inhabitants. Galley
kitchen can be developed at utility room. Latter can be moved into
4th garage bay with storage. Garages on both sides of ground floor
can be used independently of each other. Interior stairway can be
ed off. Independent entries are available on both levels.
Mature Family with Elderly/Sick: For
baby boomers, semi-retired with aging parents- easy to care for loved
ones on main floor with own living and kitchen facility. Elevator can
be activated to bring upstairs for dining or visitation, etc. Private
and independent as necessary.
Office and Living: This model is
similar to medieval European examples in Germany, France, England,
Netherlands, etc. Living quarters above work area. Can bring clients
into building below without affecting owner’s quarters above. Extra
bedrooms become offices, etc.
In Green Shores, this rare corner
lot has beautiful three-mile views above the treetops that could not
be appreciated unless one lived on the second level. Every morning,
breakfast can be taken looking out over the southern ranges and a deck
accommodates outside living. A similar entry deck is on the north
side of the rotunda space. Windows allow light and views from both
sides and the rotunda has the additional feature of an oculus or
skylight that will cast a continuous array of lighting effects from
dusk til dawn.
There is a beautiful vaulted and beamed
ceiling in the island Kitchen with custom designed cabinetry. Nearby
is an expanded pantry that can include a second work area and attached
storage plumbed for a full bath. The second floor also has a large
formal Dining room or Ball Room that opens from the Rotonda and has a
direct connection to the Kitchen.
The Master Suite is a unique design
with views towards the south with a coffer ceiling. Opening to the
bath area with shower and tub, the vanities and woodworked design are
truly period touches crafted by the architect. The very large closet
area has double hanging ranks and a private full sized washer drier.
The very personal touch of adding a boudoir for privacy (and panel
door to the powder room) is quite exclusive.
The rear of the house is oriented to
the corner of the lot to maximize the apparent depth. Access to the
pool and grounds below are from the rear of the ground floor Den and
down two matching stone stairways. Privacy is assured due to the fact
a stream borders the rear property line. A covered porch on the
ground floor allows shade while contemplating nature and a spot for
Other details include: a timer actuated exhaust for the garage, real
stone columns/door surround and limestone base at exterior double
stairway, custom designed cabinets and fireplace, wood flooring at
piano nobile, extended life architectural grade roofing, finials (and
Chateau des Reves:
click image above for
exclusive video of interior space
Cost to purchase most existing
plan designs is $4.90/ SF typ. for
Permit Set drawings, $3.30/SF for Schematic Design only (see each description for
NOTE: We do not
have plan books nor send copies of our floor plans unless we are
under contract. Please
contact us to receive typical contract form, or set an
appointment to view most of our work at our Orlando office.
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