Black + Vernooy | Blanco River Residence - Black + Vernooy

Blanco River Residence

Designed for a recently retired couple wanting to entertain family, grandchildren, and friends, this single-family residence is sited on the Blanco River in the Texas Hill Country. This 3,900-square-foot home is broken down into three zones. The division of these zones allows for separate air-handling units and allows the appropriate portions of the building to be cooled more efficiently. The U-shaped plan facilities one-room-thick spaces, allowing for natural cooling by cross-ventilation. The entire building has a high percentage of internal masonry walls to achieve thermal mass, which retains the desired coolness.

The small upstairs loft was designed specifically for playful grandchildren. The opposite wing consists of the two guest bedrooms, with bathroom and foyer. The central portion contains the living areas. The U shape frames a courtyard that facilities outdoor living, and cooling is achieved with plenty of shade and an attractive water feature. Opposite the courtyard is the back patio, connected to a screened porch, which supplies an outdoor dining area. The multilevel terrace with varying degrees of shading was designed to capture river views while protecting the home from the Texas sun.

The porches and awnings, set deep into the thick masonry walls, shade all windows. The materials chosen for this home include local limestone and cedar as well as recycled antique long-leaf pine for the rafters and floors.

This house was featured in the 2002 Wimberley Homes Tour.