River Ranch by Jobe Corral Architects

Designed in 2018 by Jobe Corral Architects, this inspiring ranch house is located in Texas, United States.


The design for a main house, guesthouse and fly tying studio is deeply connected to the land. Its protective form shields inhabitants from the Hill Country elements while expressing a strong sense of place. Two-foot thick rammed earth walls seem to spring from the land to form a protective outside layer of the C-shaped plan, an otherwise glassy and open structure. A lap pool, screened porch and extensive terrace reside in a courtyard facing the meadow below. Large, mature oak trees surround the building’s north and south edges, blocking both the strong southern and northern winds.

Generous overhangs, steel trellises and wood screens protect the building further, filtering light when desired and shielding glare when needed. The massive rammed earth walls are visible from every room of the house, at times playing a main role and at others seeming to blend into the surrounding landscape. Stucco, cedar, steel, glass, and limestone complete the materials palette, with custom copper details appearing on the fireplace and front door. An outdoor fire pit, kitchen, dining and the screened sleeping porch further strengthen the indoor/outdoor connections.

Photography courtesy of Casey Dunn

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- by Matt Watts

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