San Antonio, Texas-based firm Lake|Flato Architects masterminded this knockout of a private weekend residence, called the Blue Lake Retreat, in Marble Falls, Texas (about 50 miles northwest of Austin). The house rises three stories on a steep slope and prominently features its exposed-steel frame, plus timber accents and corrugated-metal siding and roof.
One quirk of the home is how residents and visitors travel from floor to floor—an exterior staircase. The vertical arrangement of the house’s interiors means capitalizing on its views: The living room, on the top level, rises above the trees for 180-degree views, the architects note, while the four bedrooms on the home’s lower two levels benefit from some privacy. Take a look.