Today in House Porn: A Bi-Wing Desert Oasis on the Rio Grande

It's not a mirage. Pinky promise.

March 24, 2017 9:00 am

The rugged, spartan terrain of Texas’s Franklin Mountains might strike many as the last place you’d want to set down roots. Not so for this El Paso family, who enlisted American firm Hazelbaker Rush to create their dream home in the foothills of the craggy ridge.

Looking out over downtown El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and beyond, the Franklin Mountain House mainly comprises two stacked masses that jut away from one another, the upper one cantilevered above a welcoming outdoor dining space and living room. A few steps beyond is the sky-blue pool (no doubt the most attractive feature, given the long summer season).

Franklin Mountain (5 images)

The home took three years to design and build and was the first official project for the young office. A smashing success, we’d say. The overall look is wild yet controlled: the earthy tones and presence of natural materials like stone and wood throughout give a subtle quality to the lower mass, while the bright white second story sits like a puff of cloud atop. Neither wing is so loud as to detract from the other.

Franklin 2 (5 images)

Outside, a retaining wall of locally sourced volcanic black stone stands as one side of the outdoor living room, wrapping up and behind to conceal a patch of terraced gardens. The mountains stand like a lampshade in the distance, keeping out the earliest morning sun from the bedrooms to let the household sleep. When they wake up, it’s animal watching (golden eagles, deer, hawks and more) and tending the succulent garden.

If that’s not living the dream, we don’t know what is.

Images: Casey Dunn

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