LocationFredericksburg, Texas, USA
Architect in ChargeVincent Snyder Architects
Ottmer’s House is a 2,200 sqf contemporary home located on an ancestral family ranch in the Texas Hill Country, near Fredericksburg. In keeping with ranching tradition, a young couple with two children of modest means expressed their desire to construct their own home.
The design started from the reuse of a foundation slab located adjacent to an existing vernacular structure. Following ranching tradition, work on the home is envisioned as a continuous process based on resource availability rather than a finalized object. For this reason, standardized wood frame construction was interwoven within a series of heavier timber members to facilitate ease of client labor and modification.
Overlooking a pond to the south, a reflective shield of galvanized corrugated metal protects the primary structure and conditioned spaces while creating interstitial zones of outdoor space. Cutouts and openings in the reflective shield are strategically placed to frame views to the countryside, pond, and vehicular approach.
Through the orientation and form of the reflective shield, the building employs basic principles of passive sustainable design to take advantage of natural daylight and ventilation while controlling solar heat gain.
The primary use of reflective sheet metal, stucco, exposed wood and natural stones found on the site, as well as the shed-like form of the protective enclosure acknowledge the unique material and vernacular precedents of the Hill Country region in a contemporary design.