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Modern home revolves around massive sculptural staircase

It took eight months to build the staircase alone

Exterior of house at night Paul Finkel courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects

If you’ve ever dreamed of living in an M.C. Escher artwork, the new Vista House in Austin, Texas, could serve up some inspiration. At the core of the modern, white-washed home is a zigzagging three-story staircase that, while not all that perplexing, is for sure a captivating sight and conversation starter.

Paul Finkel
Staircase with white walls and oak steps

Miró Rivera Architects, the firm behind this sustainable modern farmhouse, designed the three-bedroom house around the staircase, which took eight months to fabricate from steel and white oak before being dropped into the middle of a house via a hole in the roof. It’s an neat trick considering the house is buried into a hillside and appears to be a single story from certain angles.

Sunken living room with red couch and baby grand piano Paul Finkel
Paul Finkel

Downstairs, two bedrooms and a media room are partially built into the hillside, while the top floor is home to an office and sitting room. The home’s main level includes a kitchen and dining space that leads down to a sunken living room. The master suite is at the end of a hallway and is separated from the rest of the public spaces by an open-air courtyard.

Book-lined hallway Ibai Rigby
Paul Finkel
Exterior shot looking into windows at night Paul Finkel