Franklin Mountain House in El Paso

Franklin Mountain House, El Paso, Texas Property, American Residential Building, USA Design, Architecture Images

Franklin Mountain House in El Paso

Contemporary Home in Texas, United States of America – design by hazelbaker rush, Architects

Mar 29, 2017

Franklin Mountain House

Architects: hazelbaker rush

Location: foothills of Franklin Mountains, north side of El Paso, Texas, USA

Franklin Mountain House

Franklin Mountain House

The Franklin Mountains extend into the north end of El Paso like a peninsula of rocky wilderness into the urban landscape of the city, rising 2500 feet above the Rio Grande river valley. The home site is set in the foothills of the Franklins 800 feet above the city perched just above a small canyon with unobstructed views of downtown El Paso and Juarez to the south.

Franklin Mountain House

Franklin Mountain House

Franklin Mountain House Franklin Mountain House

As the raw and rugged native landscape comes down the slope and meets the masses of the house the land starts to feel more controlled and cultivated. The steep site becomes a series of terraces that catch and slows the flow of water and the flow of life here. This mountain side oasis becomes enriched with native succulents and cacti, colorful grasses and aromatic herbs. A sustainable ecosystem on a small scale for a family that has turned a “hard” site into their sanctuary on the hillside.

Franklin Mountain House

Franklin Mountain House

The severity of the slope allows the three story home to maintain a direct connection to the exterior at each level. The utilitarian spaces are on the first level with the entertaining functions of the living, kitchen, and dining on the second, and the more private bedroom and family play areas on the third level.

Franklin Mountain House

The mountain peaks to the east delay the first rays of sun until very late in the morning. To the south the slope drops off quickly into a deep arroyo where, in the early mornings and late afternoons golden eagles and red tailed hawks ride the thermal currents up into the canyons above in search of their next meal. Often the kids wake up to see deer and rabbits grazing at the newly planted flora along the south patio, sometimes finding evidence of the local ring-tailed cat. Each night as the sun begins to dip below the horizon the sky catches fire and the outdoor living room becomes the best place to watch the sky fade from red to orange to deep indigo as the city lights of Juarez come on and illuminate the valley to the south.

Franklin Mountain House

Near the top of the site there is an abandoned quartz mine. The angular quartz crystals that scatter the eastern part of the site – beautiful, foreign objects among the weathered grey stones and lechuguilla – became an inspiration for the massing of the home. A traditional white lime stucco volume houses the bedrooms and private area of the family and balances on a stereotomic mass rendered in local basalt grey stone using the rubble wall style visible all around town that closely matches the surrounding environment and is so of the place that from a distance the lower floors nearly disappear and the white bedroom mass appears to float in the landscape.

Franklin Mountain House Franklin Mountain House

Materials inside and out are inspired by or directly related to the vernacular craft of El Paso; stone masonry, smooth troweled stucco, steel work related to the railroad, and leather goods related to the cowboy history of the city. At the moments where one directly engages the building the door handles and cabinet pulls are fashioned in black steel with a small offering of leather to soften and warm the cold edges. Natural, honest, somewhat conventional materials are used in slightly unconventional ways to clearly convey a refinement of the vernacular craft.

Franklin Mountain House

Franklin Mountain House in El Paso – Building Information

Design: hazelbaker rush
Completed: 2015
Area: 5200 sf
Location: El Paso, Texas, USA
Builder: Cullers & Caldwell Builders
Structural Engineer: Harris Engineering Services
Manuf/Products: Western Window Systems, locally sourced basalt stone walls, Supreme Custom Cabinets
Custom elements like the hanging lights, the wood benches and bed, and the door and cabinet hardware were designed and fabricated by hazelbaker rush.

Franklin Mountain House

Franklin Mountain House

Franklin Mountain House in El Paso images / information received 290317

Photographer: Casey Dunn

Private house, approximate map position at south end of Franklin Mountains only:


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Franklin Mountain House in El Paso

Website: hazelbaker rush