Rio Estancia

DesignerCraig McMahon Architects, Inc. Studio Industrielle
PrizeHonorable Mention
Project LinkView
Entry Description

Program Info: 6,750 s.f. Location: South Texas A new home for a retired couple and their visiting extended families on a river fronted ranch in South Texas. The 350 acre property abounds the Guadalupe River located in the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country. Taking clues from the panoramic vistas offered on the property, the Main Home, Bedrooms and Guest Quarters was organized in the South American “Estancia” fashion-utilizing the framing elements of pavilion living components to frame the main courtyard around the pool and edging up to the Guadalupe River-all surrounded by mature Oak trees facing the prevailing south East Texas Breeze. The entry courtyard of the family compound offers a unique natural front door allowing the full vista of the land. Building program was organized in four zones-offering owners and guests private areas for living and entertaining as well as privacy and screening for parking as to not to interrupt the private areas of the landscape. The transparent and open plan is complemented with large covered terraces and arbors extending the living spaces to the outside. Locally quarried stone walls block the North wind while large Southern overhangs control the summer sun. Building orientation, electronically controlled window/mechanical systems, Geo-thermal heating/cooling systems, tankless water heaters, expanded foam insulation, reclaimed water systems and solar collection are embraced for harmony with the climate.

About Designer

After twenty years working for large firms across the Country designing large scale commercial projects, I found myself leaning toward the artistry and hands-on experience of owning a South Texas firm focused on the creative aspect of design and construction. I enjoy the process of creating and crafting an environment where my clients grow, learn, live and work. My team closely collaborates on each project and this spirit of collaboration extends to our clients, local artisans, craftspeople, subcontractors and others working on the Project- whatever the Scale or Type. We bring everyone together early in the design process and value all input. Where possible, the landscape becomes our primary collaborator. We visit sites frequently during design to get a feel for the best building location. All of our Projects allow clients to enjoy year-round outdoor living and working environments. We generate private courtyards by framing spaces with building elements allowing for as important of an outdoor space as indoor. Our Commercial endeavors engage the same process always searching for a unique and creative response to the need. Bringing exterior materials indoors—stone, wood and steel-and filling rooms with daylight are just two ways we do this in each project. We also value the art of traditional building methods by mixing them with innovative techniques, applications and technology. The mission at Craig McMahon Architects is to think holistically about the project from the beginning of design through to the last detail. We improve our clients' quality of life by delivering artfully crafted projects and unique living and working environments. We are passionate about our work and enjoy developing ideas into exciting realities.