Architectural Award Winning Urban Ranch Home in River Hills


River HillsIf 3849 Riverhills View Drive in the River Hills addition looks strangely familiar, it’s because this architectural gem appeared in our coverage of last years’ annual Fort Worth AIA tour.

Well known for an extensive portfolio of high-profile commercial and civic commissions, including the gates and addition to Will Rogers Arena, Caruth Hall at SMU, and the Beth El Congregation, this house is a rare residential project by the firm of Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford.

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Deceptively simple from the street front, one really needs to walk around the structure to begin to appreciate its complexity. From the back one reads a strong, central, symmetrical, horizontal core with two asymmetrical pavilions projecting from it.  Their cantilevered roofs sweep sharply upward from the central bay.

The River Hills addition, part of the ever evolving Edwards Ranch development, allows six design plans of which modern and Texas vernacular are two options. A rich repertoire of materials — local stones, live iron, and wood — blend organically into the one-acre site. The architects have labeled it an “urban ranch.”

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The same materials carry exterior into the interior. Polished concrete floors run throughout the 4,574-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-one-half-bathroom house.

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The central bay houses the living and dining rooms, separated by a stone-veneered pony wall with a fireplace, which serves both areas. Exposed, hanging ductwork is treated like a design element.River Hills

Rhythmically oriented sliding doors with clerestory transoms above flood the space with abundant light. Further illumination is provided by horizontal wall mounted up-lights.

River Hills

Slab maple veneered cabinets and quartz surfaces give the kitchen a modern, but warm ambience. Commercial-grade appliances are, naturally, top of the line. A central furr down of knotty pine creates a certain brio in the large galley design.River Hills


Spacious bedrooms are housed in the two wings. Ample fenestration frames hilltop views.

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Carefully considered design details like the extra long travertine slabs and modern, high-quality fixtures define the master bath. Its large shower stall includes a contrasting black stone bench and floor.

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Also housed in the pavilions is a third bedroom now being used as an office/studio. Ceilings follow the projection of the exterior roof line. An unusual feature is the plywood floor —a mundane material made dramatic in this context.River Hills

The back features a full-sized pool, framed in native stone with covered outdoor living. No fence or hardscape interrupts the sight lines. There is space for three cars in the front garages.

Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty agent Melanie Dotzour has priced this Texas Society of Architects award winner at $1.45 million.

Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, and in books and publications including D Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and D Home has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.