Mott Cott Guest House: A Low Energy Retreat On Lake Buchanan

Located above Lake Buchanan, Texas, this quaint guest house is a low-energy retreat powered by the sun, and replenished by rainfall. The roof features a photovoltaic system that provides for the occupants electrical requirements, and a rainwater harvesting system is used to cater for all of their water-based needs.


Called the Mod Cott house, and designed by Mell Lawrence Architects, the house is modern in design, with an almost rustic aesthetic due to the grey exterior metal cladding that mimics the main residence’s stone facade.



The house takes full advantage of its location with views of the shore and the surrounding landscape. Designed to interact and compliment the environment, the roof is sloped to redirect water into a pipe that leads to the cistern for storage of rainwater. Any water collected by the system is used for the house, as the surrounding plants are all native and drought resistant.

The photovoltaic array contains 14 solar panels, and while the set up is tied to the grid, the system provides more than enough energy to power the house.

The architects have also incorporated some elements of solar shading on the south and east sides to help minimise heat gain. In addition to this, the cistern and a tree on the west side provide some degree shade.

On the inside, the front of the house features a large, open-plan living, dining and kitchen area. Towards the rear of the home you’ll find a bedroom and a bathroom. The staircase leads to a loft which can also be used as a sleeping area. The large windows are all operable, creating both view points, and a source of natural ventilation.

Via Inhabitat

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.