On Board

Austin's one-of-a-kind 'Ramp House' skates onto market for $1.1 million

Austin's one-of-a-kind 'Ramp House' skates onto market for $1.1M

Ramp House
The ramp doubles as bookshelves. Photo courtesy of Realtor.com
Ramp House
The kitchen area. Photo courtesy of Realtor.com
Ramp House
The master bedroom. Photo courtesy of Realtor.com
Ramp House
The Ramp House.  Photo courtesy of Realtor.com
Ramp House
Ramp House
Ramp House
Ramp House
Ramp House

Attention, skateboarders: A sleek, ultra-modern house on the market in South Austin could ramp up your desire to be a homeowner.

The “Ramp House,” at 704 W. Live Oak St. in the Bouldin neighborhood, features a ramp (yes, a ramp) connecting the first and second floors. Aside from being an architectural and art element, the ramp — made of steel beams and Brazilian ipe wood — doubles as a bookcase, with a grid of shelves incorporated into it, according to Realtor.com.

“Red- and yellow-hued glass inserted into the bookcases adds a playful element of light and color,” Realtor.com says.

The home, designed by contemporary architect MJ Neal and built in 2002, now sits on the market at $1.095 million. That’s down from the spring of 2018, when the house was priced at $1.295 million.

Constructed of a steel pipe framework, with its surface and substructure made of three-and-a-half-inch ipe wood, “the ramp is essentially a sculptural element that functions all at once as a means of vertical circulation, a spatial delineator, a massive bookshelf — a solid wood grid structure inserted in between the ascending and descending legs — and a modern objet d’arte,” according to an article published by the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Brian Linder, the listing agent, says Neal’s daughter would zoom down the 230-foot ramp on a skateboard when the family lived there. “Kids especially love the ramp,” Neal told AIA.

Aside from the unique ramp, which AIA describes as a “gracefully sloped interior walkway,” the 2,245-square-foot home boasts:

  • Three bedrooms.
  • Two-and-a-half bathrooms.
  • Rooftop deck with view of downtown Austin.
  • European fixtures.
  • Handmade tile.
  • Polished concrete floors.
  • Glass walls opening to a courtyard.
  • Skylights.
  • Exotic hardwoods.

“The Ramp House is a study in time and movement,” Neal told AIA. “I wanted to play with the fourth dimension, time, [and] to deliberately slow down the pace of travel through the house. I wanted people to experience the sequence of space differently than just racing upstairs.”

By the way, if you’re not keen on taking out a mortgage to buy the Ramp House, you can rent it — for a cool $6,000 a month.