Ames House by Matt Fajkus Architecture

The remodeled home is flooded with light yet shielded from heat gain thanks to the optimized picture windows, skylights, and inset openings of its transformative two-story addition.

Austin-based architect Matt Fajkus encourages his clients to focus on solar orientation, breeze-flow, and the preservation of shade trees when siting projects. His firm’s two-story, stucco-clad addition to the Ames house transformed the drab 1980s home into an open, light-filled dwelling with contemporary character and improved energy-efficiency. South-facing windows are inset to provide shading and mitigate heat gain. On the inside, beautiful millwork stands out, and black-framed picture windows keep nature in view. Fajkus says, "Daylighting puts us in touch with the natural rhythm of the day, which is emotionally soothing."