a contemporary interpretation of the modernist living room

Project Info

Appointment 2019
Type Commission
Client The Salty
Size 2,600 SF
Location Austin, TX
Status Built


Principal  Everald Colas AIA, NOMA
Project Lead Evan Vander Ploeg, Jose Miranda AIA
Designer Fhenny Gracia
Structural Engineer  MJ Structure
Consulting Engineer Bay & Associates
Collaborators  Landmark Kitchen Design LLC



After the success of the Salty Orlando, The Salty and Storyn teamed up again to create a new Salty in Austin, Texas.  Austin, a city rich in post-World War II Modernism residential construction, allowed an opportunity to create a contemporary interpretation of ‘the Modernist living room’ – an open plan providing an informal setting, material exploration, and softening mass-produced items in a fashion that allowed them to be unique. Our interpretation was to leverage the open plan to provide multiple programming, promote even more informality, and use materials that encouraged warmth, comfort, and not austerity.  Using custom millwork and furniture, the otherwise ample space down to a domestic scale and material finishes help warm and soften the environment, creating an overall cozy atmosphere. Storyn strategically creates zones within the larger open space to provide varying experiences allowing for private moments in a common area; sitting with friends in a sofa lounge area, conversing with a small group at a table, or curling up into a small nook by yourself to enjoy artisanal donuts.

For Storyn, this project allowed for an extensive exploration of custom pieces. The millwork, the furniture, and the windows went through several iterations to develop their current refined state, customized and repeatable. Special attention was given to how the body interacts with the architecture to honor the domestic environment’s affinity and informed by the human body and its proportions. Inspired by the duality of strength and agility existing in the human body, the custom pieces utilize light and heavy elements in tandem to create unique sculptural touches in the space; the windows are an example – the most visible sculptural work from the exterior – in how they host an elegant curvilinear pattern set within a deep steel frame.



“The vision of the Collective is to give St. Petersburg a building that is a critical addition to the rich architectural heritage of its place.  It does this by leveraging a contemporary design language to enact an agenda of contextual sensitivity and responsiveness – current design that acknowledges its place within the long legacy of St. Petersburg architecture.”


-Everald Colas AIA, NOMA

The building sits alongside Congress Avenue, a major commercial axis road that also serves as a buffer for the Bouldin Creek residential neighborhood west of it. A mural created by artist Allison Kunath helps soften the shift in the commercial edge’s two different neighborhoods. While in contrast, the building size and windows allow it to remain in balance with the language of the neighboring residential territory.




Bus Stop