Cross Timbers Ranch - photos by Frank Ooms Photography
Tour G: Cross Timbers Ranch - **SOLD OUT** - 18 waitlisted
Thursday, November 7, 2013
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Class Code: 27
Room / Location
Grand Lobby / Convention Center First Floor
Early: $50.00 Advanced: $50.00 Full: $50.00
Project: Cross Timbers Ranch
Design Team: Bill Aylor, AIA, Ted Flato, FAIA, Ryan Jones, AIA, Trey Rabke, Nathan Campbell, AIA
Contractor: Duecker Construction Company
Consultants: Jack Harrison PE Structural Design Consulting (Structural Engineering); Harry J. Crouse Design (Interior Design); Kings Creek Gardens (Landscape)
Tour Guide: Bill Aylor, AIA, Lake|Flato
Designed by Lake|Flato Architects and completed in 2009, Cross Timbers Ranch is a balanced blend of rugged ranch utility and calculated refinement. The owners, Greg and Laura Bird, desired private family quarters, guest rooms, a common pavilion area with a game room, and a wine cellar. Lake|Flato’s initial design scheme housed all these functions in one structure. As the design evolved, the mass separated, bringing the scale down to four distinct buildings. This aligned with the Birds’ desire to shut down portions of the complex so that it could function independently as a family getaway or a corporate retreat.
Sitting on the south end of the complex, the pavilion is the largest of the buildings. A walkway joins the porch of the pavilion on the west side and continues past the wine cellar structure to the family house. The guest cabins lie perpendicular to the east, forming the northern leg of the complex. The pavilion is a large dogtrot structure with a communal room on one side and a playroom on the other. Like the other buildings of the home, the pavilion is clad in paint grip sheet metal and sinker cypress siding. Its strong, gabled form releases at its end and is fully expressed in a tall sleeping porch. This element addresses the approaching drive — acting as a lantern guiding visitors who approach in the dark — and is equally compelling from the interior.
Between the pavilion and family quarters is a humble structure that is the hidden jewel of the complex: the wine cellar. The chimney stack of the wine cellar and its overlook align with the center of the courtyard. The cellar is only partially buried in the earth, so its elevated roof becomes a raised vantage point, while its concrete recesses take advantage of the earth’s cooling for the storage of the wine. The roof rises about four feet above the walkway. As you ascend the stairs leading to the overlook, the built world recedes around you, offering a position where the only thing you look upon is the natural landscape.
The architecture of the ranch is characterized by a rugged authenticity and an impression of age that belies its recent construction. It is the landscape, however, that completes the ageless feeling of the complex. Landscape architect Rosa Finsley consulted on the project, and her touch rendered a natural entourage filling all scars left by the construction. Bill Aylor of Lake|Flato puts it this way: “This project reinforces how important landscape is. It makes the compound feel more natural. It pulls it back in time.”
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