Friday, July 2, 2010

Architect Henry Panton's Texas Bunkhouse

When film writer and director Richard Linklater of Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Fast Food Nation, asked Austin, Texas–based architect Henry Panton to build a bunkhouse with a huge screen porch for family and guests , no one would have dreamed it would be this gorgeous! Linklater wanted the bunkhouse on his 40-acre property in Bastrop, Texas, about 30 miles outside Austin. It is situated over a dry creek bed and carefully crafted around the existing loblolly pine trees, the bunkhouse “is sort of like a bridge into the woods,” says Panton, who adds that the 1,400-square-foot structure, which can comfortably accommodate well over a dozen people, is used often by Linklater, his wife and three children, and their extended family and friends. “They have a lot of sleepovers,” says the architect.

The nine-by-three-foot mahogany entrance door is meant to evoke the surrounding trees. The iron handrails lining the base of the porch are a subtle architectural detail, as well as a support system to prevent the cabin from ever twisting or shifting “like so many old Texas outbuildings,” says Panton.

With it's Brazilian Tigerwood enclosures, the outdoor bathhouse, which includes showers, sinks and dressing areas, references the nearby bunkhouse.
Several sets of aluminum-and-glass French doors open from the bunkroom onto the screen porch. Panton and his team made the dining table and benches on-site; the tongue-and-groove benches and table legs are locally milled cedar, and the top is Brazilian Tigerwood

Panton placed several custom-made queen-size steel-and-wood bunk beds inside the bunkroom. All the beds are on wheels and fit through the double-side door openings, so they can be easily rolled into the porch for sleeping. Complementing the locally milled, insect-resistant cedar bunkroom ceiling are floors of purple-stained white oak (bunkroom) and the especially durable Brazilian Tigerwood (screenporch). Panton's Design Philosophy is this: Good architecture is achieved through active Client/Architect collaboration and clear design solutions, unique to each project and to each client. My interest and strength lie in personally engaging the client in an ongoing dialogue about their needs, resources, and vision. I want you to live and work in a space that reflects what you value.
Good architecture is achieved through site-specific design: designs that respond to and harmonize with, site, topography, vegetation, solar orientation, wind and vistas; humane buildings that are relevant to their surroundings, and contribute to a sense of place; places that facilitate living and working in the best way possible.

Good architecture is achieved through meticulous attention to detail, from spatial organization to the nuts and bolts. This is why we build what we design. Our experience in construction means we are mindful of the technical competency, cooperation, budgeting and logistics needed to construct buildings. This hands-on experience informs our designs with a rare combination of imagination and feasibility.
Potent Client collaboration, clear design solutions, and hands-dirty attention to detail:
these form the core of his approach to practicing Architecture.
To find out more about Henry Panton or the Texas Bunkhouse, please visit

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