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Last stop: Repurposed Locomotive Ranch Trailer House in Texas!

Here’s an interesting example of a home reused, repurposed and recycled – this locomotive turned house in Uvalde, Texas was designed by Andrew Hinman Architecture, who illustrates how something unconventional can be transformed into something totally cool with some creative thinking. The aluminum trailer takes its place at the center of an otherwise traditional home structure. But even the home’s “traditional” elements have a contemporary edge, like the angled flat roof, expansive glazed facades, and artful indoor and outdoor living spaces that invite you to live, lounge and explore. If you’re drawn to unusual homes, this is definitely one to tour. Check it out.

“One of the client’s cherished possessions is a vintage streamlined aluminum house (not travel) trailer, and he wanted to relocate the trailer to the family’s favorite spot on their South Texas ranch overlooking the Nueces River,” according to the architects. “Given the fragile geology and the flash-flood prone nature of the riverside location, the trailer’s foundation and protection required special considerations,” namely a steel-framed, metal-roofed cradle that holds the trailer in safety and proudly on display.
This mobile-home house blends in with the industrial-style rain barns and equipment sheds dotting the property. The reflective surface echoes the scenery, blending in but standing apart all at once. The design almost reminds us of a train station, the house itself becoming the station, and the wood floor and outdoor decks becoming the platform that welcomes arrivals and bids travelers farewell. A wood deck off the side features an outdoor barrel-style bath.
Beside the train behind the glass, eating and living areas have an alfresco feel thanks to the barely there glass walls.
Overlooking the Nueces River, the house features glass walls to take in the scenery. The sun-soaked space is rustic and welcoming, bringing you into the outdoors without ever leaving the comfort of home.
Of course, the riverfront is best visible from the spacious deck outside, which is cantilevered over the water for a first-hand view.
Even before you see the train, the wood, glass and concrete house hints that it is not your typical house with interesting windows dotting its exterior, and a tower type structure leading into the adjoining horizontal volume where the train has permanently pulled in.
Interiors hint at the “mobile” lifestyle with a camper aesthetic, refurbished with bamboo panels and built-in banquette seating for casual family meals.
This look carries into the bedroom – a wood-wrapped space with those signature “camper” windows above the built-in bed and side tables.
Through the bedroom, a bathroom of concrete and wood is dark and dramatic, with circular windows reminiscent of portholes overlooking the outdoors.
Industrial style lighting adds a casual, utilitarian aesthetic to complement the rough concrete walls.
The huge round window carved in the concrete facade opens the bathroom to the views. The bathtub just beneath it is the perfect place to soak up some peace and privacy.
A glass-enclosed patio offers all-weather lounging in a minimally adorned space which leaves the focus on the view.
From the outside, you really get an appreciation for the home’s interesting lighting, which illuminates the warm wood underbelly of the overhanging roofs and the interior ceilings.
The warmly lit house is a beacon among these cool surroundings of leafy trees and the still rover waters flowing at its feet.
Andrew Hinman Architecture
photo credit: Paul Bardigjy


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