Situated on the site of a 19th century German Hill Country Homestead, PaaHaa Ranch reimagines elements of the historic working landscape. In collaboration with the Architects, existing structures have been both refurbished and reconfigured using existing materials. A linear flat lawn is used to define the site and create contrast with the surrounding hillsides. This constructed lawn connects a series of landscape moments between the existing and reconfigured structures. The buildings have been aligned on the western edge of the lawn. On the southern edge of the lawn a former livestock yard is transformed into a production garden and orchard which will be constructed at a later date. To the north sits a lake that provides a place for recreation and revegetated edges to provide habitat.
East of homestead is an inviting garden with native plants and herbs creating a lush entry to the home. The second of three courtyards, an intimate stone terrace between the Homestead and Smokehouse, is used for outdoor dining and entertaining family and friends. A small herb garden sits just outside the kitchen door for the family to use while cooking. With the family having small children, the space gives views toward the central play lawn. Over twelve inches of imported soil was brought in to give the lawn a pristine look year around. The main courtyard features a raised, trough-like swimming pool centered on the Party Barn. The pool features a long bench along the adjacent seating area and a Spa that pours into the lower pool. The raised coping provides ample amounts of seating around the pool making this the focal point of entertaining. A tall wood trellis features reclaimed barn post and beams which help tie it to the rustic landscape.
Where the natural draw meets the lake sits the Boat House, which is surrounded by native grasses and prairie restoration. Specimen Live Oaks and Cedar Elms planted around the pool help define the space and create scale with the surrounding existing Live Oaks. Native plants were a key element to the design with such species as Mountain Laurel, Rudbeckia, Mountain Pea, Esperanza, Thryallis, and Blackfoot Daisy. Overall the project creates a series of intimate gardens and courtyards, each speaking to the ranch’s historic past while providing a place for the family to spend time together in this diverse Texas landscape.