Few things represent the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe more than Hippie Hollow does. The Lake Travis institution is the state’s only clothing-optional park. But Hippie Hollow hasn’t cornered the market on weirdness at the lake.
The Sand Dollar House — also known as the Mushroom House and the Nautilus House — is perhaps the weirdest house along Lake Travis, even earning a spot on the Austin Weird Homes Tour. And now it’s on the market for $2.2 million.
Built in 1979, the 2,240-square-foot home, just northwest of Lakeway Country Club, resembles a sand dollar from above. But at the ground level, part of it looks like a mushroom. It also shares some design DNA with the famed Nautilus House near Mexico City.
“One of the home’s most interesting features is the fascinating spiral staircase with wood treads. When you look up to the teardrop-shaped skylights, it feels like you are inside a sand dollar,” the listing says.
The sand dollar isn’t the home’s only interesting attribute, though.
Designed by Austin architect John Covert Watson, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, the entire contemporary residence boasts stunning views of the lake through custom windows, balconies, and patios. In the living room, a floating wooden bench juts out from a curved wall, and a fireplace that mimics a kiva (a ceremonial chamber) offers a cozy spot for lounging and chatting. The round kitchen, accented by blue tiles and wooden cabinets, is suspended above a deck.
The house is made of steel and a material known as gunite, a concrete blend of sand, cement, and water that’s used to construct swimming pools.
“This house is iconic,” the owner of the home, PR executive Liz Bradford, told Austin360.com in August. “To me, it’s probably the most iconic house on the lake. You can’t miss it.”
Bradford bought the house in 2018. The first owner of the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom home, at 819 Mariner in Lakeway, was Eugenia Hunt, an artist and poet.
Michelle Jones and Todd Grossman, both of Compass Real Estate, have the listing.