Clawson Project: Adult Tree Houses by Mark Odom Studio Take Root in Austin, Texas

The Clawson project in Austin, Texas, features a group of eight beautiful contemporary homes, set on a one acre lot (over 4000sqm) shrouded in live oak trees.

Designed by Austin-based architecture firm Mark Odom Studio the homes were deliberately designed to interact and blend in and around the aged live oaks, to create an ambience of a modern day, adult tree houses.

Project Description

Mark Odom Studio, subdivided this one-acre, heavily treed property in Austin, Texas to become four duplex lots, equaling eight individual residences along a shared drive.

Each duplex was designed around adjacent trees and desirable views, highlighting specific site amenities per unit. And while the building form and materials are similar across the project, each unit has its own unique characteristics that create individuality from building to building. Privacy and views have been carefully planned so that there’s no interruption when wanting to enjoy the interior and exterior of each home.

The one acre project site, which originally housed just one single-family home, was divided into four separate lots, commonly known as an infill.

“This type of build strategically densifies an underutilized parcel of land while keeping the same scale of the neighborhood,…Existing trees were used not only as focal points for each building but also for various interior rooms, nestling each structure around the patterned landscape. Room and window placement was then key so that each structure could take full advantage of its placement in the natural landscape — and still maintain privacy from neighbors.”

Mark Odom, founding principal of Mark Odom Studio.

The buildings were planned with every sustainable notion possible—proper sound transmittance ratings, cross-ventilation, and little impact on the existing site and trees—intertwining the natural world with a man-made one. The landscape promotes social engagement among property owners, creating pleasant opportunities for neighbors to engage and meet.

To turn house into tree house, Odom and team worked hard to bring the outdoors inside, utilizing windows, balconies, and glass doors throughout to allow for views of the existing tree canopies. It’s a technique, says Odom, that defines much of the team’s design ethos This results, explains Odom, in eight unique floor plans in either two- or three-bedroom options. Though different in design, each of the eight condos has a trademark modern style built out with high-end finishes, cement floors, and pops of wood and steel.

“Our Clawson project not only delivers eight quality condo homes, but also an intimate pocket community where one single family home once existed.  Densifying our neighborhoods through creative design without sacrificing quality, natural surroundings, or character,”

Mark Odom, founding principal of Mark Odom Studio.

Project Team

  • Architecture, Interiors and Landscape: Mark Odom Studio    
  • Structural: MJ Structures 
  • Builder: Acero Construction
  • Developer: Little City Development
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