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Unusual Vacation Home for Avid Bird Watchers

Texas Twister is a vacation home by BuildingStudio Architects that is designed with a post-tensioned slab on grade, steel posts and glulam beams and this creates the effect of a floating roof that spans the continuous clerestory windows of the interior zones unsupported. The effect is light, airy and definitely modern.

Located in Rey Rosa Ranch, Ellis Country, Texas, the home is decidedly modern and is a weekday and weekend retreat for the homeowners who are avid bird watchers. The homeowners have restored some of the surrounding landscape by reintroducing wetlands, native grasses and indigenous bird populations with the help of Mesa Design Group as landscapers.
Texas Twister is meant to act as a retreat for guests and the homeowners alike and is a beginning/ending point for the accompanying nature trails. On those lazy afternoons when a relaxing time spent in a chair is more appealing, the bridged walkway that extends from the guest quarters offers the best spot for relaxing with a pair of binoculars.
The main entrance is down a pathway at the far end of a carport, shaded from the afternoon sun by a steeply angled 2x cypress screen. A second and similar screen surrounds the rooftop mechanical units.
The foyer has a bedroom to the left that also opens to the carport, a second bedroom straight ahead and the social zone to the right. This main structure is on an east/west axis and is positioned between hardwoods and an open meadow.
The Interior Design for the home was done by Emily Summers Associates
The roof of the home is supported by a 12ft post and beam system that allows it to “float”, separate from the exterior walls and this separation offered the perfect opportunity to include a 2ft high continuous band of clerestory windows.
The clerestory windows continue into the bedrooms, offering plenty of natural daylight without the loss of privacy.
Continuing the banding aesthetic is an 8ft wide porch that runs along the north side of the home, facing out towards the only manicured lawn of the site, created specifically for the owners grandchildren to have a safe place to play.
A second carport for ranch vehicles is attached to the east end of the building and between it and the guest bedroom is an al fresco porch with fireplace. Extending out in an eastern direction from the porch is a water trough and birdbath. A second similar extension projects out from the manicured buffalo grass.
Even though Texas Twister is a modern design, it still manages to blend harmoniously within its natural environment.
Buildingstudio Architects
Photography by Tiimothy Hursley of the Arkansas Office


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