Rancho dos Vidas

Frio County, TX
4,000 Sq. Ft.

Located in the scrub county of what was once known as the Dead Horse Desert, Rancho Dos Vidas was built as a ranch headquarters and family hunting lodge. The compound draws its forms, geometry, and details from the Spanish Colonial archetypes of south Texas and northern Mexico — missions, haciendas, presidios, and public places familiar to the outposts of the frontier. The primary force behind the program and plan is the ‘event of the hunt,’ allowing the elements and their organization to be informed by the process of hunting in Texas while offering a variety of experiential spaces.

Sketch of the ranch house
The lodge is approached along the
natural path of the Sendero, cut through
the brush from the north and surmounting
a small hill overlooking a lake
Floorplan of Rancho dos Vidas

The organization of the compound acts as a
foil to the surrounding wilderness.

Pool deck and porch
House at sunset
The west veranda offers outdoor dining
with spectacular views across a marsh
lake and of the horizon beyond
Detail of wooden window shutters
Detail of pendant light
Closeup view of iron door pulls
Courtyard area with fountain

This main court features the soothing sounds of the courtyard fountain and offers comfort through the intimate scale of the gathering space.

Exterior stone work
Detail of fountain
Round stone tower
Through fortified gates, one enters
a court guarded by protective walls
and the sentinel cistern that holds the
harsh Texas surroundings at bay
Man and his horse in a courtyard

Natural plaster and waxed antique wood lend a natural warmth to interior spaces.

Arched roof and light