The site for the house, a 500-acre ranch, is located in the Texas Hill Country, an area settled in the mid-1800s by German immigrants, who used the local limestone and long leaf pine and cypress to build their structures.
The clients asked for a new house that, when finished, would look like it had been there for 150 years. We researched historic German farms and homes in the area for authentic house and farm types, materials, and details.
The program for the house was large and complex, so we decided to emulate a generational farmstead, where each generation of the family adds onto the original buildings and build new structures or tie together old ones, creating a complex of buildings over time. We fabricated a "history" for this farmstead---the log cabin was built by the great grandparents who settled here, then as the family grew, they added a water tower and a barn. When their children took over, they built the big stone house. Their children connected the barn to the log cabin and added a smaller house next to the big house for their children. The result is the compound you see today.
We used recycled timber, beams, flooring, wood siding, rusted tin, and rock to build the house. All the conveniences found in a modern home were hidden or disguised. A local blacksmith produced door and window hardware as well as fireplace hardware. Windows and doors were milled from old growth pine. Even the glass was reproduction "wavy" glass to emulate vintage glass. The owners went to great lengths to fill the house with correct antique furniture and furnishings. Near the end of construction, a visitor to the site told me, "They are doing a great job of restoring these old buildings!" They couldn't have given me a better compliment.