For couples and families seeking to be at home in natural settings.
Many Texans have ranches that have been in their families for a number of generations, some from the early 1800’s. And, increasingly, many others seek a weekend respite from the large cities, a time to be with family in the quieter, meditative settings where nature is the star. Texas architect, Steve Chambers, AIA, spends time analyzing these sites and their special views and settings as an important part of the process in the development of the concepts and designs of custom ranch homes. It is essential to understand that a ranch home in the country is not a city house. A custom ranch home design doesn’t have the limitations of an urban lot and the activity there is often more active, casual and relaxed. It’s about expanding the view of things, opening up, looking inwardly and outwardly, zooming out or zooming in on details of life and nature. It is intended to enlighten and revive the spirit of the observer. There are things to keep hidden and places to reveal. When we go to quieter places, the goal is often to awaken consciousness and to realize that we have a relationship with all that is around us and it enriches us to understand the connection between us and nature. We also strive to create a disconnection from the noise of everyday life.
“Families often seek to reflect their rural roots in the design and want to use the local materials, shapes, and forms that are indigenous and emphasize simplicity, whether the custom ranch home design is modern, traditional or a ranch preservation project. The site itself becomes the design’s most important feature and informs us to the extent that it tells us what the building wants to be.”
Steve Chambers, AIA
Whether these ranch homes are located in the Texas Hill Country, West Texas, the Panhandle, or East Texas, families often seek to reflect their rural roots in the design and want to use the local materials, shapes, and forms that are indigenous and emphasize simplicity. The custom ranch home design may be a modern, traditional or a ranch preservation project. The site itself becomes the design’s most important feature and informs us to the extent that it tells what the building wants to be. Existing trees, topography, prevailing winds, angles of sun, and views, important to any design, become even more emphasized when compared with the scale and starkness of West and Central Texas. This vastness frequently determines the manner in which the forms relate to each other. There are often more terraces, verandas, porches, and areas where the family can appreciate their solitude and togetherness. Private areas like bathtubs/showers can relate to the outside, as well as kitchen and eating areas, taking in the openness with vast areas of glass provided with proper overhangs so the sun doesn’t overheat home’s interior. The nature of the layout of a plan can be more casual and the spaces shared: casual finishes, fewer walls where the kitchen/eating/family are open to each other rather than using formal dining rooms, and the use of bunk rooms. Texas firm, Stephen B. Chambers Architects, Inc., creates unique custom ranch home design solutions through collaboration with its clients and other professionals associated with these projects.