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Swimming in History

2016 Gold Design Award Winner: Detached outbuilding

September 02, 2016
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Photos: courtesy Djor Baldinger, Mark Menjivar, Vernon Wentz

Crag McMahon Architects, San Antonio

In a nutshell: The original cabana and pool on this estate in Terrell Hills, Texas, were in such disrepair that they were considered almost unsalvageable. But the owner was adamant that the pool and the historical nature of the structure be preserved.

Challenges: The property owner wanted to restore as many details of the structure as possible, including its cast-stone window sills, true divided-lite wood windows, and the copper gutters integrated with the original slate roofing tile.

Solutions: McMahon's redesign involved removing ceiling joists in the cabana to create vaulted ceilings within the original structure and adding a ductless HVAC system mounted above the door to save space. But the real help came from a craftsman who had worked on the main house for many years. “He had intimate knowledge of the home’s history,” McMahon says. “He helped us stay true to the original look.”

All of the original wood dentil molding was removed, hand-sanded, and then reinstalled. McMahon also took the extra step of removing the building’s original cast-stone window sill and taking it to a cast-stone manufacturer to match every detail. He took the same care when it came to replicating the divided-lite windows.

The structure’s integrated copper gutters, which are 6 inches wide and 8 inches deep, are set flush with the roof plane in the last foot of the eaves overhang, hiding them from view and leaving the fascia uninterrupted. “I’d never seen anything like it before,” McMahon says.

See the full list of winning entries here.

About the Author

About the Author

David Weissman is associate editor for Professional Remodeler

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