Lakeside luxury

Impeccable lakefront Austin home reportedly sells for highest price in history

Impeccable lakefront Austin home sells for highest price in history

Willow Beach Estate
The house has won numerous awards.  Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
MIró Rivera Archiects led an all-star Austin design team, including designer Fern Santini. Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
The main home is split into two wings — one for entertaining and one for private space. Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
Dining area. Photo by Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
Local limestone was quarried especially for the project. Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
One of the eight and and one-half bathrooms in the main house. Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
A pedestrian bridge. Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
The property is situated on Lake Austin. Photo courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate
Willow Beach Estate

In a sure sign of how hot the Austin housing market is, the sale of an estate on Lake Austin has raised the roof on pricing for residential real estate.

Katherine Scarborough and Michele Turnquist of Engel & Völkers say the estate, previously listed at $38.9 million, fetched the highest price ever for a residential property in Austin. They did not reveal the sale price, though.

The realtors describe the estate as “one of the most coveted and iconic parcels” on Lake Austin.

The nearly nine-acre Willow Beach estate consists of the 11,405-square-foot, glass-walled main house, the 3,320-square-foot guesthouse, seven bedrooms, eight-and-half bathrooms, a pedestrian bridge, a boat dock, and a negative-edge swimming pool — all designed by Austin-based Miró Rivera Architects. Don Crowell was the builder, and Fern Santini was the interior designer. 

"The design aims to respect and enhance the home’s unique site, while maintaining a balance between opening up to the landscape and maintaining the owners’ privacy," Miró Rivera Architects says of the project's design. "Arranged around a central courtyard and characterized by its distinctive, copper-clad roof profiles, this one-level home is defined by a horizontality that responds quietly and sensitively to its serene wetland surroundings."

Scarborough and Turnquist say the home took 11 years to build due to permitting that was complicated by the property being bordered on three sides by water. Construction was completed in 2010.

Highlights of the property include:

  • Custom-quarried limestone inside and outside
  • African sapele wood in the main house
  • Brazilian Ipe wood in the guesthouse
  • Wall in the main house molded like the bow of a boat
  • Floating staircase in main house
  • Venetian plaster walls and ceilings
  • Powder room sink carved from rare black limestone
  • Fireplace hearth made of soapstone
  • Private lagoon
  • Three Sub-Zero wine fridges

The property has also racked up numerous architectural and design accolades over the past decade, including an Honor Award from AIA Austin, Design Award from Texas Society of Architects, an award from the London International Creative Competition, and a feature in Architectural Digest.