In Johnson City, Texas, the Clear Rock Lookout by Lemmo Architecture and Design takes the common hunting blind up a very significant notch. Covertly placed upon an ancient limestone cliff, the pair of connected, corten steel cabins acts as a combined observation deck, writing studio, and hunting outpost on the owner's 1,000-acre ranch.
Though completed in 2016, the raw, slightly post-apocalyptic vibe fits seamlessly into the aesthetic conversation of today.
At 450 square feet in total, the structure is split into two separate volumes that accommodate different needs and are connected by steel decking. The smaller of the two volumes is dedicated to the hunting blind, where thin picture windows provide a view over the land below without revealing the hunter's silhouette to passing wildlife. The larger of the two structures is a writing studio, a far more open space that contrasts with the blind with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in light, air, and (hopefully) inspiration.
The cabin's site was chosen carefully by the client for its spectacular views after years of walking and mapping the property. The exterior of the cabin provides ample opportunity for observers to take in the views-steel decking and stairs wrap around and through the structure, creating an almost playground-esque environment for visitors to explore.
The corten steel, which weathers naturally to create a thin layer of corrosion that actually protects the hardened steel underneath, is a defining element and both blends and contrasts with the surrounding landscape. It was chosen in part for its durability and aesthetics, but also to pay homage to the client's past spent welding oil tanks.
Inside, the cabin is outfitted with the essentials-chairs, desks, and a woodstove. Wood paneling on the ceiling brings softness into the space, while reinforced concrete flooring provides durability and echoes the industrial exterior.
The Clear Rock Lookout is an uncomplicated cabin designed with the express goals of observation and contemplation; it's a place to look both out and in. Although it is not open to the public, the entire Clear Rock Ranch went up for sale for a cool $18.5 million in 2019. As of today, it appears to be off-market. Dang.