down home ranch

elgin, tx



The opportunity arose to design a sustainable work/live ranch for mentally disabled adults. This ranch would be a permanent home for approximately 60 disabled adults and a team of volunteers and would encompass all aspects of their everyday life including housing, exercise and recreational spaces. In addition, the ranch
would have entrepreneurial enterprises that would provide work for the ranch residents. These ventures created the ranch enterprise zone, a resort camp, and a corporate retreat center, which all had to be planned for as the ranch grows into its optimum size. Most important for Down Home Ranch was to design a place that emphasized community. The solution is a residential village concentrated around a circumferential road and an activity center. This village is separate from the other camp activities to maintain privacy but is
located within a five minute walking distance from all the camp functions. Each of the other three main camp programs (the camp, enterprise zone, and corporate retreat take on their own identity in a physically separated place, but never farther than a short walk from the ranch center and each other.