(1970-1980) John Covert Watson – Austin Lakeway TEXAS

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John Covert Watson

Biographie de John Covert Watson

John Watson is the & rsquo; one of the most interesting architects of the City Austin. Although & rsquo; it is not strictly modernist, he is a practitioner of the & rsquo; organic architecture, an emanation of modern. His work reminds John Lautner (although more organic) not surprising since they both studied under Frank Lloyd Wright in his last years. for reference, Watson studied under Wright from 1954, while the construction of Guggenheim (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) started in 1956. Perhaps the biggest influence in his work comes from & rsquo; here. In the years 1960, he discovered Westcave cave near Hamilton Pool.

He designed and built houses in and around & rsquo; Austin, including Nautilus residence on Lake Travis, House mushrooms in Lakeway on Lake Travis, Grotto Dome on Spillar Lane, and his own house on Redbud Trail. He designed a complex Lick Creek Ranch with unique flared roofs.

John Covert Watson, born in 1929 in Austin, graduated from Austin High School. He graduated from the & rsquo; University of Texas architecture. His work, such that & rsquo; it defines the, is in "the & rsquo; organic architecture" and s & rsquo; inspired by natural forms. Taking care of the & rsquo; natural environment and working with him has shaped his career.

M. Watson was an apprentice with the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright 1954 – an experience that M. Watson called "changed my life", because it confirmed that & rsquo; it n & rsquo; not like in architecture and showed him how to work with nature. M. Wright observed, “an architect is a prophet in the kingdom of nature.” M. Watson said that & rsquo; he could not consistently build conventional structures; his work is more "inventive", in design and necessarily in construction techniques.

From 1954, Watson was apprenticed with the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright, who was known for his philosophy of design in harmony with nature structures. Watson went d & rsquo; d & rsquo the first seat; Winter Wright, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona, then at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. after Taliesen, Watson worked in San Francisco for Wright's representative on the West Coast, Aaron Green. During this period, Green office implemented the Marin County Civic Center designed by Wright in San Rafael, in California, which is now a National Historic Landmark and designated by the & rsquo; State.

His experiences in the years 1950 helped shape the & rsquo; d & rsquo history of love with Watson & rsquo; architecture Westcave cave area in the years 1960. “Westcave really transformed my architectural life because it is a fine example of scale and proportion”, said M. Watson. “Everything seems to agree. C & rsquo; s how c & rsquo; is supposed to be. There was something in the detail that caught your attention. “

Watson describes as Roman Hamilton Pool on a large scale and the Cave Preserve Westcave like most Greco-smaller and female. He also observed and learned light and shadows on the two caves and how the day begins and ends with two, noting how they are different because the waterfall is Westcave to & rsquo; d & rsquo west end; a short canyon, and Hamilton Pool is the & rsquo; tip of its canyon.

Cave Westcave had become not only a place of recreation for Watson, but also "filled a void in my life architectural '. D & rsquo; one shot, Watson gave up the & rsquo; intrusion and became visionary conservation. In 1974, he purchased twenty-five acres containing her favorite cave with the & rsquo; money was asked Marjorie Watson, to tante. Both had visited together this special place and s & rsquo; were launched in many outdoor adventures in Colorado. “She was a great birder and enjoyed all the natural wonders”, said Watson.

L & rsquo; man who would become his savior d & rsquo; first looked at what would become Westcave Preserve early 1960 as the & rsquo; one of the first intruder. John Covert Watson, d & rsquo; an old family & rsquo; Austin, had long visited Hamilton Pool nearby. But when he was about thirty years, he heard of d & rsquo rumors, another swimming hole nearby. “So I did that against which I fought years later, I attacked on earth”, said Watson. With two friends adventurers, Watson climbed an old fence in barbed wire and found a trail to a canyon.

The trio met a group who had just come out which warned of snakes and poison ivy. Undeterred, They followed the trail along & rsquo; a flowing stream, through d & rsquo; towering cypresses and columbine blossoms, attracted by the distance d & rsquo noise falls d & rsquo; water. Watson still remembers finding “the most beautiful green maidenhair fern grotto, Delighted by his discovery, Watson continued to intrusion, bringing friends and family. One day, a For Sale sign on the property & rsquo; stopped in his tracks. He was already concerned about the & rsquo; continued misuse of this natural gem. But it & rsquo; was more than that. He was a specialist organically designed houses in which all relates to the & rsquo; surrounding environment, and & rsquo; experience this autonomous world had begun to inspire and enhance its architectural juice.

Hillside Home Conçu par John Covert Waston

Grotte Dome House Cover designed by John Watson

C & rsquo; is a truly unique house with an interesting history. Designed by & rsquo; architect John Watson 1978, c & rsquo; is & rsquo; one of the best examples of & rsquo; d & rsquo organic architecture; Austin. Watson studied under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in years 50 and worked on the Usonian houses, the Guggenheim Museum and Civic Center Marin County.

John described the house like this Grotto Dome. “The Grotto Dome on Spiller Lane in Austin has been designed to complement and reflect an ancient rock formation in his front verre.Une waterfall cascading into a pool under the bridge entrance creating an intimate outdoor space equal to the a bent inside the shield 50 d & rsquo feet one piece glass wall overlooks and protects the sun lounge and rain.

Mushroom House Charles Harker

This home is truly unique. Mushroom House / home mushroom was designed and built by Charles Harker in 1980. There is a fascinating small run and photos being during the construction of the house. The organic style of the house is somewhat similar to the work of & rsquo; Austin architect John Watson . C & rsquo; is incredible that we have so many unique homes that & rsquo; in Austin. It is worth the price of & rsquo; just buy land value. Hopefully the buyer continues to nurture and love this unicorn.


This house is built on a ravine for about 2,5 acres. J & rsquo; saw the mushroom house as a place where someone & rsquo; one could live by building a larger main house on the property. Note that even the HVAC vents, lights and switches have the same organic look. no straight lines.

La Bloom House, with an area of 1 800 square feet, in Austin, in Texas. completed in 1984 by architect Charles Harker, Come on foot, it's like discovering an enchanted cottage in the woods and there is even a set of characters resembling dwarfs, that Harker calls the seven sentries.



BM any custom woodwork.



Le Tao Design Group

Is a non-profit organization chaired by Charles Harker,which was founded in 1971. The group is composed of architects, sculptors and artists gathered in an artistic process to explore the creative potential of new plastic materials from the time of its creation. The House of Earth was an experimental house Polyurethane.
Given the fragility and lightness of this material, the walls were reinforced with PVC tubes. Furthermore, interior walls were plastered, and cement was projected on the exterior facades, for several reasons : d & rsquo; first to prevent fires, because although & rsquo; they provide excellent thermal insulation, polyurethanes are also extremely flammable then protect the polyurethane, friable, erosion and the rays of the sun which cause its decomposition and finally to prevent the formation of polyurethane dust, which can cause health problems..

Designed and built by the Tao Design Group between 1971 and 1973. It was located on a plot of 6 acres (25 000 m2) County Hill west of Austin in Texas. Was supposed to be the first of four houses inspired by each of the four Earth elements, Air, Water and Fire (Terre, Air, Water and Fire) but the design of the Air House was never finished, and only the Earth House was built. Was presented in 1979 au Museum of Modern Art de New York, during the exhibition Transformations in Modern Architecture. It was razed in 1990.

Its construction was to test the new plastic materials and different techniques used in the field of construction. During the three years of its construction, about 10 000 people visited the site. Comments and questions from visitors were taken into account in the design of the house. School students of architecture from the University of Texas were invited to participate, a part in the construction, and secondly to theoretical discussions arising from the process.

Was built without plans or drawings. Spontaneous construction on the site was part of the creative process, qu'Harker compares the metamorphosis of a butterfly. polyurethane, with which the walls were built, was projected directly on the ground without foundations. The polyurethane being friable, designers enjoyed great freedom and spontaneity in spatial planning : the walls were easily destroyed and rebuilt later, the windows were pierced even the foam with simple kitchen knives, etc. For the construction of ceilings, huge air-filled bag support used polyurethane until it is dry.

More like a "living sculpture" than an architectural work. Harker calls the "large-scale sculpture" (large-scale sculpture). The house had one floor, but different floor heights reached by two or three steps could be observed.

The Earth House of the rooms had no function assigned. This lack of function was to bring the inhabitants to assign himself the usefulness of each space according to his vis-à-vis sense of it. In fact, even the division of the house into rooms was rather indefinite. However, it included a solarium and a room acting master bedroom.

The access to the house did not have doors, and orifices which served light sources had no glass, which put the house to thank you from the weather. The building is distinguished by its organic forms directly inspired by the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. There is also a family resemblance to the houses designed by Hermann Finsterlin and buildings of the architect Erich Mendelsohn.


Virginia Maneval

I am the daughter of Jean Benjamin Maneval, famous urban architect who notably created the Bulle Six Coques, a plastic house from the pop years. You can also find me on my Facebook page Bubblemania.fr or on my page La Bulle Six Coques by Jean Benjamin Maneval.

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