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Rocking 8 Ranch: A Remote Home in Rustic West Texas Built Between Boulders and a Zen Rock by Sanders Architecture & Britt Design Group

Project name:
Rockin’ 8 Ranch
Architecture firm:
Sanders Architecture
Brown County, Texas, USA
Ryann Ford
Principal architect:
Chris Sanders
Design team:
Interior design:
Laura Britt, Britt Design Group
Built area:
5,000 ft²
Site area:
300,000 acres
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
David Wilkes Builders
Stone, Glass, Steel, Wood, Concrete and plaster
Royce and Judy Mitchell
Residential › House

The architect and designer (Sanders Architecture and Britt Design Group) call this Texas ranch “Rocking 8” it is located on a remote 300,000 acre ranch, home was designed around stunning vistas and rock formations.

Secluded Ranch Rises Up from the Scenic Boulders of Remote West Texas:

Royce and Judy Mitchell spent years scouting their remote 300,000-acre property looking for the perfect location of their new home. The Brownwood, Texas ranchland, purchased years ago, includes a working farm and cattle ranch. They located the approximate site to take advantage of a field of boulders on the hillside with distant views of rural fields and the hill country beyond. The idea was to be able to take in the views while also taking advantage of prevailing breezes and comfortable outdoor living. 

The Mitchell’s wanted a contemporary ranch aesthetic with functionality. The 5,000 square foot home features a modern, clean-lined, low maintenance ranch-design with luxury comfort. The connection to the land was paramount to the homeowners. Large glass wall openings and a large, fully operable window wall in the living room allow for an abundance of natural light, sweeping breezes, and vast vistas of the ranchland beyond. 

ranch house in Texas with outdoor fire pit image © Ryann Ford

Britt Design Group used natural, simple, and pure materials on the interior design. Wood, stone, plaster, steel, and concrete were used to create transparency in material and form as not to compete with the rugged beauty of the landscape. “The remote nature of the project required creativity, we needed to find craftsmen and women who were able to travel to the project location to implement the intricate plaster application (applied in the living room), steel fabrication, and beautiful furniture-quality cabinetry used in the kitchen and master bath,” says Laura Britt, Britt Design Group.

Gathering outdoors is an integral element of entertaining in this home. With plenty of space for family and friends, the outdoor covered porch boasts a seating area with a custom fire feature and a double TV for indoor/outdoor viewing. The outdoor dining area connects to a bar with a large pass-through window. There are multiple covered outdoor spaces including a dogtrot between two guest suites -- creating an intermediate area to enjoy the breezes while being shaded by the large roof overhead. 

luxury living room with stone walls image © Ryann Ford

The architecture was dictated by its relationship to the hillside and the boulder field in the downhill foreground to the house.  The home rises out of the rocks and the lichen covered boulders on the site – one boulder in particular, named “Zen Rock” by the homeowners, was kept exposed and sited just off the master bedroom.

“It was a challenge to sit the building among the boulders - we had to be careful to not damage “Zen Rock” and the existing trees - this took several attempts. Capturing the views meant carefully shaping the building and locating windows to optimize the view and daylight while not creating issues with glare and heat gain in the house,” says architect Chris Sanders, Sanders Architecture.

ranch house with swimming pool image © Ryann Ford

The boulders and rocks also inspired the subtle agrarian references used in the architecture and building materials.

The breeze and wind direction were another major factor in the build and layout of the house. “These breezes inspired us to crack the building into two pieces - the main lodge (master bedroom and common areas) and the guest house area,” says Sanders.  “In the adjoining space we located the pool and courtyard. In the spring and fall, the living room of the lodge can be opened on both sides - the western side with the large moving wall – draws sweeping breezes through the house.”

modern house with stone walls

hillside house in Texas

Rocking 8 Ranch in Texas, USA

wine bar and stools

dining table and chairs

red dining table on a carpet

industrial pendant lamp

suspended lamp

contemporary home design

modern kitchen island idea

kitchen sink cabinet

bathroom washing basin and vanity

master bedroom with carpet

kitchen stove and hood

bathtub in bathroom with nature view

master bedroom design

rustic water faucet

twilight view of house

modern house with pool

contemporary ranch house

zen rock garden and pool

pathway to the garage

wheat farm in Texas


By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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