Goliad Weekend House 32 photos

I designed this weekend house for our friends in Corpus Christi. In the early seventies, Bonnie and L.J. bought 116 acres of rolling hills blanketed with live oak and juniper outside of historic Goliad, Texas. With a group of friends they constructed a quaint but rough little two room cabin to get away on weekends. We used to stay with them and their young daughter Blair, and it was fun to rough it. As the couple got older, they didn't want to rough it any more. They wanted something a little more refined. Something with plumbing, electricity. And maybe air conditioning.

A flat, prow-shaped hill, the highest spot on the property, was chosen as the building site for ease of construction and because of spectacular 180-degree views of the surrounding countryside and Manahuilla Creek below. The hill is adorned with a large, heritage oak. We went back and forth on the concept for the house. What size should it be? What materials? Rustic or modern? L.J. stood at Rustic end with thoughts of using an antique timber frame barn as the basis for the new house. Bonnie stood at the Contemporary end, with all the modern comforts and conveniences and easy-maintenance materials. They eventually reached a compromise, as all good marriages do, and agreed to build something both rustic and contemporary. The finished product is a modern interpretation of local nineteenth-century farmhouses, barns, and simple cabins. The house is clothed in traditional wood lap siding and galvanized tin roof, and the size and scale is respectful of its local ancestors. The south end of the house is more solid and traditional with small, sparsely spaced windows, but as one moves to the north end of the house the exterior becomes lighter and more transparent; more modern. The two-story main living space has glass walls on three sides to take advantage of the 180-degree views. On the north end, a two-story glass wall frames the massive oak tree and bathes the interior with soft northern light. Covered porches wrap around the main room to shade the glass and provide outdoor dining, lounging, and recreation.

The land is bountiful with fauna. Deer, wild hogs, armadillos, raccoons, ringtails, havelina, and wild turkeys roam the property. One of the many recreational activities at dusk centers around frozen Margaritas, rocking chairs, and binoculars to admire the wildlife.

Goliad Weekend House

This house was featured in various national magazines and won many design awards.
PHOTO: Courtesy Home Magazine

Goliad Weekend House

We used a classic farmhouse form, but imbued it with modern walls of glass to open the interior to the outside as well as the 180-degree views.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

A large heritage oak was the reference point for the siting of the house. It is framed by the two-story glass north end of the house.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The house is built for celebrating friendship, dogs, and the outdoor life.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The ground level Great Room is essentially transparent. Notice the far-off views in the background. Bonnie uses a telescope to watch local wildlife.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

PHOTO: Courtesy Hunter Douglas

Goliad Weekend House

We used a vintage Franklin stove as the hearth for the living room because it was less obstructive to the magnificent views than a traditional stone fireplace, which would have blocked a good part of the view. We wanted the walls between inside and outside to be as invisible as possible.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

My best dog Slim on a visit. He loved his perch on a hill so he could observe the deer and turkeys and javelinas below.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The siding is shiplap cypress from Louisiana. The roofs are crimped Galvalume.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

Early morning on the ranch.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The classic farmhouse form, wrapped in porches.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

Part of the owner's weekends are spent tending to a herd of Senepol cattle.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

Full height blinds are used in the mornings to peer out at the flocks of wild turkeys that forage in the yard.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The kitchen features exposed pine beams with pine flooring above for the second floor. The cabinets are pine as well. All the wood in the house is "pickled," or stained a transparent white. The countertop is galvanized sheet metal. The owner and I installed it ourselves.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The staircase risers are galvanized sheet metal to match the nearby kitchen countertop. Pine beadboard walls.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The owner created a "sendera," or an open alley through the dense vegetation that reveals wild animals as they pass across it on their journeys. On any given day you would see deer, wild turkeys, javelinas, and wild boars.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

A flock of wild turkeys rolling down the sendera at dusk.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The favorite and most-used room of the house is the porch.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

Springtime at the ranch.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

Three basic materials are used throughout the house: painted drywall, pickled pine, and Mexican tile floors.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The furniture is simple and unpretentious. The couches turn into beds when there is an overflow of guests. Mexican tile runs throughout the ground floor.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The owner and I built a small cook house and storage shed from leftover construction materials.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

L.J.'s prize possession is this smoker, made for him by his friend John Anderson.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

One of the owner's Paso Fino horses.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The window walls provide distant views on three sides of the Great Room.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

The cypress siding is easy to maintain. We left it unstained and let it turn silver in the sun.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

At the beginning of the day everyone gathers on the east porch to welcome the sunrise.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

Hunter Douglas did a photo shoot of the house to showcase their window shades.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Hunter Douglas

Goliad Weekend House

Covered porch off the master bedroom. Animals wild and domestic share the ranch with the owners and friends.
PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara

Goliad Weekend House

PHOTO: Ignacio Salas-Humara