Roughly seven miles north of the University of Alabama campus is Lake Tuscaloosa, a serene, manmade reservoir. There are plenty of fine houses dotting its shorelines, but one in particular stands apart from the rest. Designed by architect Tyler Price of Tyler G. Price Architecture and completed in 2018, this custom dwelling is not your typical lake house. It’s rife with Mediterranean influences, including a bright-white exterior and swooping curves that are repeated throughout the home.

Despite the extravagant flair, Tyler managed to make this house meld harmoniously with its surroundings. The structure’s placement on the land — perched proudly on a hillside with its main axis in the center of a small clearing — allows for a gorgeous view of the water while also enabling it to blend in with the blanket of trees flanking it on either side.

Architect Tyler Price includes an architectural landscape plan for each of his projects. “It’s basically an extension of the floorplan,” he says. “The level of design that I take my projects to looks at landscaping as part of a whole.”

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The front entry’s curvilinear features command attention. “The owner wanted a house with a Mediterranean feel,” says Tyler. “She liked the idea of having big white parapets, kind of like what you’d see in Alys Beach.”

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Guests enter through a rustic, custom front door made in South America with solid wood and cast iron.

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In the foyer, ceramic tiles underfoot are made to resemble natural stone. “They look aged and tumbled,” Tyler says. “It feels like a sun-washed Mediterranean court.” Oversized olive jars add to the effect.

Hailing from Tuscaloosa but now based in Birmingham, Tyler jumped at the opportunity to take on this job for some family friends from his hometown. The homeowners knew they wanted a house with a Mediterranean feel, and Tyler ran with the theme. “Some of the lines and curves that are created on the parapets, arches and brackets repeat themselves on the inside in some of the case openings, recesses and nooks,” he says.

The end result is an alluring, if not magical, respite that beckons the homeowners and visitors alike (their daughter, a student at UA, frequently stops in with friends) to explore every hallway and peek around every corner.

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A portrait of the homeowners’ daughter punctuates a hallway with rounded case openings and crisp, white walls that beg for a walkthrough.

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“The most important part of the house is the main living space,” says Tyler, who worked closely with one of the homeowners on the interiors. Here, a custom limestone surround and mantel make the fireplace special. “It’s the heart of the home,” he adds.

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The dining room is set apart from the living room with case openings boasting the familiar architectural lines that also frame the picturesque view of the lake beyond.

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The family’s Jack Russell terrier looks to the living room from the kitchen, where the color scheme and wooden beams mirror its adjacent living area.

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The Moorish backsplash tiles were selected by the homeowner before any drawings were even made, so they served as a jumping-off point for the project.

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Casing above a bath vanity is given the same special treatment with similar lines seen throughout Tyler’s design. The turquoise hue from the family room and kitchen is peppered throughout the house, as seen here in some accessories.

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Even the powder room is big on personality, with custom marblework and vanity legs in rustic wood.

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“I think it’s a huge mistake to not flood a bathroom with natural light,” says Tyler. Luckily for the homeowners, privacy is built in from the large size of the lot, so a soaking tub is right at home beneath an 8-foot window and transom.

Outside, Tyler’s design continues in the white parapets found on the front and back of the house. “The entry parapet is about being a focal point,” he says, “and then it swoops down to a more human scale. The back parapet is more dominant because that’s the side that you would view from the lake, so it’s seen from a distance.”

Though the house is set back a bit from the water, this prominent exterior feature leaves quite an impression on boaters passing by because of its grand scale. “It needed to be massive enough to not look diminutive from a long way away,” Tyler says.

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A gated pasture is adjacent to the house, lending a bucolic feel to the entire property.

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“A house doesn’t stop where the door is,” says Tyler. Echoing this sentiment is the outdoor patio, which has become a popular lounge for the homeowners’ daughter and her friends from the nearby University of Alabama.

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Encasing the dining room, the back parapet towers above the outdoor entertaining space overlooking the lake. The large scale of this architectural detail is visible enough from the water to leave a lasting impression.

Tyler Price Lake Tuscaloosa

The house—expertly placed on the site for maximum views both of the lake and from the lake — is beautifully lit up at dusk. “When looking at the house at night from the lake, it kind of rolls into the landscape,” says Tyler. “It almost becomes a silhouette against the trees and the hillside.”

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Though this house is so visibly stamped with a distinct style, Tyler says his work as a whole does not lean more toward one aesthetic over another. “My clients don’t come to me for any particular look,” he says. “I try to figure out what they want and then try to execute that style well.”

On this project, he did just that, and he even dove a little deeper by also providing plans for the interiors and landscaping. Tyler does have some go-to interior designers he works and confers with, and he does leave the specific plant choices up to the horticulturalists (Buzz Barton of Barton Landscape, in this case), but oftentimes he opts to do as much as he can. “On certain projects, I like to do it all,” Tyler says, “because when I’m designing it, I have a vision for how I want it to finish out anyway.” And it goes without saying that Tyler’s vision for this lake house — for it to essentially become one with the land — and the homeowners’ wish for a Mediterranean-inspired home in the heart of Alabama came together beautifully.

All photos courtesy of Graham Yelton of Graham Yelton Creative and styling by Tonia Trotter.

For Tyler Price’s other recent projects, visit @tgparchitect on Instagram. 

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