Franklin Mountain House

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In the hardened foothills of the Franklin Mountains, on a lot overlooking downtown El Paso, architects Darci Hazelbaker and Dale Rush elevated a stoic, three-story home using the only material in sight: stone.
The residence is supported by two lower levels that are composed of local basalt, a gesture toward the region’s rich geology as well as an abandoned quartz mine located near the top of the property. “We were trying to make a home that felt of the place, and El Paso is a very masonry-driven town,” explains Rush.

Lodged in a hillside along the arid U.S.-Mexico border, an earthy family home absorbs grand vistas of El Paso, Texas, as well as Juárez, Mexico. A lap pool extends toward a canyon. Image ©Casey Dunn

Mining inspiration from the mountains of West Texas, two architects burrow a home into the terrain.

The duo put their own twist on the local vernacular by quarrying a dark stone, instead of a more commonly used reddish-brown variety. The rough-hewn material blends into the landscape and creates a pedestal for the top-floor bedrooms, which are encased in white stucco walls. As a whole, the home reclines into the hillside, yet the highest box, which is designed to maximize views, hovers a few inches off the earth. The stone, Rush notes, keeps it grounded. Photography by Casey Dunn.

This article first appeared on Dwell, text by Luke Hopping.

Inside the home, each volume tonally matches its exterior. The stucco-clad upper floor, which contains mostly private quarters, prominently features white oak casework. Image ©Casey Dunn
The two basalt layers, meanwhile, showcase American black maple and polished concrete floors. Image ©Casey Dunn
Image ©Casey Dunn
Image ©Casey Dunn

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