Views Stretch to Mexico at This Hard-Edged Texas Home

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. 

Photo: Casey Dunn

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. 

Photo: Casey Dunn
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. 

Photo: Casey Dunn

Luke Hopping

@LukeHopping

Senior editor/storymancer Cities, design, music, tech, news Trying to keep up

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