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Contact Go Lake Travis

A Striking Sanctuary in Texas Inspired by a Sand Dollar

Posted: Tue, 8 Aug 2017 08:37 AM - 123 Readers

By: Catherine McHugh

 819 Mariner Lakeway, TX 78734 | View the original listing

Perched on a forested bluff along the Colorado River by Lake Travis is a singular white dwelling that takes advantage of its sweeping views via expansive windows and multiple balconies.

This architectural marvel’s two-story height further boosts the home’s vantage point, which enjoys stunning sunsets all year round.

“My favorite features of the home are the views and, really, the overall design of the house, which is architecturally spectacular,” owner John Dietrich said. “There are no blinds and the main living area upstairs has exquisite cutouts.”

There are teardrop cutouts in the ceiling as well as in the master bathroom, Mr. Dietrich said.

Though known locally by its nickname, “The Mushroom House,” the home’s designer, John Covert Watson, was inspired by a sand dollar (which an aerial view of the home makes clear).

“The home is attracting one-of-a-kind buyers who understand the significance of the structure and the architecture,” he added.

The Stats

The 2,240-square-foot three-bedroom home has two full bathrooms and one half bathroom. The 12,393-square-foot lot includes a private backyard.


The house has central cooling and heating and a 270-degree view of the water. The modern kitchen features the standard range of stainless steel appliances, including a dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, double oven and electric range.

Design Pedigree

“Mr. Watson served as an apprentice to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright while the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City was being built,” said real estate broker Tommy Cokins. He designed this waterfront home, “which took three years to build and was completed in 1979,” Mr. Cokins said. The house, which was built as an art studio for the original owner, according to Mr. Cokins, “is an example of the Austin-based architect’s interest in organic architecture.”

Neighborhood Notes

Mr. Dietrich notes that the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is close to the home, as is the Rough Hollow Road Yacht Club. Other nearby attractions include the Lakeway Resort and Spa, marinas, nature trails and tennis courts, four golf courses and a city park with a swim center.

Agent: Tommy Cokins, Austin Real Estate Broker

View the original listing

*  Story Contributed by: Catherine McHugh


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