Camouflage was key in the design of Clear Rock Lookout, a minimalist and modern writer’s studio with a hunting blind and observation deck, sited on a 1,000-acre ranch outside Johnson City, Texas.
Hired by a client who had spent years carefully scouting the property for the perfect vantage point, architects Stephanie and Ryan Lemmo of Austin–based Lemmo Architecture and Design channeled the owner’s meticulous attention to the landscape with a highly detailed structure that makes the most of its cliffside views without detracting from the surroundings.
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"The 450-square-foot building is nestled below a limestone cliff-edge, and has to be ‘discovered’ when approached from the top of the mesa," explain the architects. "This gradual reveal of the building strengthens the unfolding landscape panorama made possible from the unique vantage provided by the structure."
Expressed as a "jewel box in the landscape," Clear Rock Lookout is simply clad in large expanses of double-pane glazing and rusted steel, which will naturally weather over time to blend into the dusty surroundings and conceal the structure’s presence from wildlife.
Restraint was also exercised in the design of the interiors, which are minimally dressed with polished concrete flooring and warm timber materials throughout.
The writing studio is located on the southern end of the structure and is separated from the hunting blind by a breezeway and sliding doors. The lookout deck is located atop the blind.
"The remoteness of the site made a challenge to find contractors and craftsmen interested in working on the project," says Stephanie. "However, we were lucky to find a great crew in the end that brought this unique structure to life."