Residential ArchitectureHousesOff-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas: The Prow

Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas: The Prow

Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas, prefabricated cabin
Casey Dunn Photography

Architects: Lake Flato Architects
Project: The Prow / Off-the-Grid Porch House
Location: Fort Davis, Texas, United States
Photographer: Casey Dunn, Ryann Ford

Text by Lake Flato: Situated against a secluded bluff in the Davis Mountains of far west Texas, The Prow is the first off-the-grid Porch House. The house is a simple design protected by a single long-gable roof. A vaulted space contains the kitchen, dining and living areas, while a dog run separates the other module housing two bedrooms and a bath. A porch runs the length of the building with a view across the subtle, jutting landform that gives the project its name. The house relies on solar power for energy through a photovoltaic array and battery storage. In addition, solar thermal collectors heat the house through a radiant flooring system. A large cistern collects rainwater for potable use and (if needed) occasional fire protection.

Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 1 , rusting steel
Casey Dunn Photography

Contrasting the interior walls and ceilings of warm, natural pine, the exterior of The Prow is clad in rusting steel. The durability of this exterior steel withstands the harsh environment while responding to the fire potential of the remote area. Due to difficult access to The Prow, the steel structure was fabricated in San Antonio, transported as components to west Texas and bolted together on-site. The use of both pre-fabricated and site-built components integrated with passive and active energy systems for this off-grid residence make the Prow a unique project.

Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 2, steel structure
Ryann Ford Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 3, front of house
Casey Dunn Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 4, dinning room
Casey Dunn Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 5, fireplace
Casey Dunn Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 6, great room - kitchen
Ryann Ford Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 7, living room
Casey Dunn Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 8, windows
Ryann Ford Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 9, bedroom
Ryann Ford Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 10, steel structure
Casey Dunn Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 11, Davis Mountains views
Ryann Ford Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 12, steel structure retreat
Ryann Ford Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 13, single long-gable roof
Casey Dunn Photography
Off-the-Grid Porch House in West Texas 14, retreat house
Ryann Ford Photography

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