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Silos House

The house is located in an area of the high Texas Hill Country called Mountain Home, settled by large ranches, like the historic YO Ranch, and small farms.

I've always been fascinated by the local agrarian structures -- cotton gins, barns, feed mills, grain elevators, and silos. The context of farming and ranching lead us to explore the vocabulary of this local vernacular architecture -- abstract silo shapes, corrugated steel roofs and siding, steel pipe and wire, agrarian light fixtures, barn vents, chimney flues, hip roof shapes, and local stone. The result is a house that is a modern homage to the historic architecture of the area.

This house experiments with the way a user experiences the space within a house. A traditional floor plan bundles the rooms into a rectangular package. This project splits up the rooms into distinct elements, and each has four walls that can engage with the outdoors. The separated rooms are each tied together at opposite corners to form alternating spaces along a central circulation spine. The flow of space and the way one experiences it as one moves through the house is very different from that of a traditional house.

Silos House

Conceptual sketch that explains the idea of separating the different functions/rooms of a traditional floor plan and organizing them along a linear circulation spine to create a unique way of spatially experiencing a house. One of the benefits is that every wall of every room opens to the outdoors. The pattern of alternating rooms creates outdoor spaces that form patios, porches, and decks. See floor plans.

Silos House

Every room is separate, yet connected to the others at their corners to create a circulation spine. As you walk from one end of the house to the other, you experience a sequence of rooms that alternate from your left to your right. All four walls of each opens to the outdoors. The alternating organization of rooms creates outdoor spaces in the form of patios, porches, and decks.

Silos House

We used a chipboard model to better visualize the forms of the house. Many architects (myself included) use computer generated renderings and 3D models, but making a simple, physical model that you can hold in your hands, put your eye up to it, and view it from different angles is much more satisfying than looking at a computer screen. PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Great care was taken to preserve existing live oak trees and native plants on the site. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Rear of the house. Construction is nearly finished. Landscaping comes next. Oscar belongs to a herd of goats that has the run of the ranch. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Exterior detail of lighting, window canopies, and the two types of corrugated steel siding -- Galvalume and Corten (weathering) fiinsh). Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Circulation spine from foyer area looking toward kitchen at the far end. To the left is the Living Room, and beyond that to the right is the Dining Room. Each room is painted a different color. The glass and aluminum overhead door slides straight up into the ceiling and opens onto a covered porch. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

We used "vaportight" lights, a type of industrial safety light. Its practical and elegant design is a favorite of architects. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Existing live oak trees, juniper, and native grasses on the site were preserved. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Garage/Guest House nearing completion. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Garage end of the Guest House. The angled roof indicates a sloped garage ceiling that allows hot air to collect and flow out through the slot vent above. Construction is nearly finished. Landscaping and hardscaping are next. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

This shower has exposed copper water pipes. The ring is for the shower curtain. The shower base is a 4'-diameter galvanized steel horse trough. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Stairs in the Guest House lead to the upstairs bedroom suite. Floors are sealed concrete. Photo: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Guest House sports an upper deck with long views to the north. A group of trees and native foliage separate the guest house from the main house. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Nearing the end of construction. Ground floor decks and upper deck railings are yet to be installed,

Silos House

Looking down to the foyer. The railings are constructed of stainless steel cables and Galvalume steel pipe with industrial fittings. Walnut floors. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Two-story height Living Room with wood-burning fireplace and walnut flooring. The fireplace surround is a sheet of 1/4"-thick plate steel. A rectangle the size of the firebox was cut out the center. The steel was sprayed with muratic acid to create patterns of rust. After the acid etches the steel, it is thoroughly washed off, dried in the sun, and sealed with a clear matte finish. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Closeup of the steel fireplace surround. Notice the various tones and effects of randomly spraying muratic acid on the steel plate. PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

This is a private reading nook with a hidden entrance. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Master bath. Notice how the windows on each tower are on the same axis. From this window one can literally see all the way through house to the window at the other end. PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Two-story foyer space. PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Pantry/Laundry/Mud room, looking through an antique screen door into the kitchen beyond. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

On nice days, the glass and aluminum overhead door can be raised to open the kitchen to the exterior deck and fresh breezes. The Pantry is beyond the doorway. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

The copper Kitchen counter was hammered by hand. A propane torch was then run over the surface to heat the copper and bring out different tones. When finished, it was sealed with a protective semi-glass clear finish. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Kitchen flows into the Dining Room beyond. The glass and aluminum overhead doors opens to outdoor dining. The window overlooks a small court. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

The painter adding finishing touches to the fireplace flue anchor brackets. PHOTO Ignacio Salas-Humara

Silos House

Every rooftop sports a barn vent, used as a design element in the overall composition of the Main and Guest houses. Roofs are corrugated Corten (weathering) steel. Siding is corrugated Galvalume steel. PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara