The Bellville Project by Dick Dick + Associates is a multi-structure composition on a sprawling 700-acre site located in the Texas Hill Country. From the onset, the two families who own the property were clear about what they wanted the project to be: a communal ranch, featuring private residences and a shared clubhouse, allowing for both private retreat and regular entertaining. Our design team visualized a shared central pavilion easily accessible from the two residences, but the true challenge was to create custom homes that individually addressed the couples’ different aesthetics and wish lists, while connecting the overall property with a unified design.
The heart of the property is a 2,830 SF pavilion, an ideal space for the families and guests to gather. Supported by an exposed steel structure reminiscent of spider legs, the building features frameless clerestory windows giving the roof the magical impression of floating. The space has a decidedly Texas aesthetic thanks to the knotty Post Oak found throughout the structure. Certain cues were taken from traditional farmhouse design, but the pavilion is distinctly contemporary.
The larger of the two residences sits roughly one mile from the property’s central pavilion. This home features a series of steel doors and windows that open up to the idyllic landscape and spectacular fireplace, which features a stucco hearth and stack bond firebrick that seamlessly extends the length of the wall. The smaller of the two residences is next to the property’s original 150-year-old farmhouse. This home was designed to be compatible with the farmhouse vernacular, and while liberties were taken with the materials, the home fits beautifully with the adjacent bunkhouse and cookhouse. A series of outdoor rooms around each house accentuate the indoor/outdoor relationship present in the architecture, all while weaving the native meadows, plantings and vegetated swales into the overall visitor experience.
Who are the clients and what's interesting about them?
The clients are two couples from Houston, TX who are best friends. Having vacationed together for years, the two families decided to develop a property that would suit their needs – and their families’ needs – for years to come. They chose Dick Clark + Associates to design the ranch because one of the firm partners, Kevin Gallaugher, has been best friends with one of the couples since childhood.
What were the key challenges?
The clients wanted a communal ranch, featuring private residences and a shared clubhouse. Gallaugher visualized a shared central pavilion easily accessible from two separate and distinct residences, but his true challenge was to create custom homes that solved for the couples' different aesthetics and wish lists, while serving the overall property with a unified design.
How is the project unique?
Designed for the architect's childhood friends, and their closest friends, Bellville Ranch is a master case study in rural luxury. Having vacationed together for years, the two families decided to develop a property that would suit their needs – and their families’ needs – for years to come.