Views Stretch to Mexico at This Hard-Edged Texas Home

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By Luke Hopping / Published by Dwell
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Mining inspiration from the mountains of West Texas, two architects burrow a home into the terrain.

In the hardened foothills of the Franklin Mountains, on a lot overlooking downtown El Paso, architects Darci Hazelbaker and Dale Rush elevated a stoic, three-story home using the only material in sight: stone.

The residence is supported by two lower levels that are composed of local basalt, a gesture toward the region’s rich geology as well as an abandoned quartz mine located near the top of the property. "We were trying to make a home that felt of the place, and El Paso is a very masonry-driven town," explains Rush.  

Lodged in a hillside along the arid U.S.-Mexico border, an earthy family home absorbs grand vistas of El Paso, Texas, as well as Juárez, Mexico. A lap pool extends toward a canyon. 

Lodged in a hillside along the arid U.S.-Mexico border, an earthy family home absorbs grand vistas of El Paso, Texas, as well as Juárez, Mexico. A lap pool extends toward a canyon. 

The duo put their own twist on the local vernacular by quarrying a dark stone, instead of a more commonly used reddish-brown variety. The rough-hewn material blends into the landscape and creates a pedestal for the top-floor bedrooms, which are encased in white stucco walls. As a whole, the home reclines into the hillside, yet the highest box, which is designed to maximize views, hovers a few inches off the earth. The stone, Rush notes, keeps it grounded.

Inside the home, each volume tonally matches its exterior. The stucco-clad upper floor, which contains mostly private quarters, prominently features white oak casework. 

Inside the home, each volume tonally matches its exterior. The stucco-clad upper floor, which contains mostly private quarters, prominently features white oak casework. 

The two basalt layers, meanwhile, showcase American black maple and polished concrete floors. 

The two basalt layers, meanwhile, showcase American black maple and polished concrete floors.