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With a dream of combining incredibly beautiful, modern and sustainable design, owners Marilyn and Bill collaborated with Canadian green architects, The Acre, and local architects HA Architecture, to create this unique Texas Hill Country venue. Read more about their incredible team of award-winning architects.

The Acre

Storied Architecture - Inspiring People to Live Great Stories

"Architecture can convey stories. In the end architecture is something that rethinks the way we see ourselves and the way we live our lives. At their philosophical core, The Acre believes – WE ARE WHAT WE CREATE – and the beginnings of The Cedars Ranch is a testament to the values of a team that espouses this way of living.

Building practice in a Canadian province with only 11 Architects under the age of 40, is a testament to the fact that the Acre has never been concerned with following the conventional order of things. The Acre is most comfortable operating on the fringe, and see this as a fertile testing ground to tackle big questions and pursue projects within a global context. 

Acre looks to take on projects with the ambition of enhancing a sense of place, going beyond pseudo-traditional recreated environments and explore new ways to guide clients through more meaningful development; a process they call ‘Storied Architecture’. 

Acre have recently been awarded the prestigious award of The 2018 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture, on our proposal for Shaping Cultural Identity: Tourism Frameworks Creating Cultural Sustainability in Atlantic Canada, Southwestern United States & Norway. The Prix de Rome is an opportunity for the Acre to experience firsthand world renown projects, places and key people that have succeeded in creating a sustainable tourism that enhances a sense of place, including its environment, its heritage, its aesthetics, its culture, and the well-being of the people who live there. Read more about our awards in architecture here.

Monica originally met Marilyn in her capacity as Monica’s executive coach, a friendship that continued as they realized that they shared a tendency towards dreaming big. When Bill and Marilyn approached Monica and Stephen with their Texas dream, the Acre team set off on their unique process of Storied Architecture. First, they took a dive into the history, culture, art and building practices to understand as best they could the complex fabric and beautiful vernacular of Texas Hill Country; developing a narrative that would ultimately translate a dream into an architectural vision. It was also crucial to Bill, Marilyn and the Acre that this project be deeply entrenched in an ethos of sustainability – to go beyond cosmetic ‘green’ strategies and create something of far greater substance; to approach every move with a sensitivity and respect for the land and the environment.

Monica and Stephen, The Acre   

Acre set out on a vision for The Cedars Ranch that comprised of the Event Barn [Great Hall], Reception Pavilion, ‘Shed Shack’ [Event Bar], cabins and an owners residence that organized these buildings into a master plan they referred to as a ‘central spine’; an element that spanned in one dramatic and cohesive gesture across the entirety of the property [something the local donkeys had already figured out!]. The singular conceptual gesture of the spine organized all of The Cedars Ranch amenities into an extremely minimal footprint that prioritized the preservation of trees. It also elegantly solved the issue of way-finding on such a vast swath of land. [This master plan will be carried out in phases.] 

Oriented along summer’s predominant wind path, the buildings take advantage of cross ventilation through open-air wood slat façades and modern interpretations of the traditional ‘Dog-Trot’ vernacular. Unique roof lines were generated to maximize the capture of rain water, while simultaneously giving these forms their unique character.

The Cedars Ranch Great Hall

Then, it’s about collaboration, and trusting your ‘gut’. Considering that Saint John is located some 2,500 miles north of Wimberley, Acre knew that an equally passionate local Architect would be essential to ensuring that the project maintained the clarity of the original vision. This responsibility fell onto Texas architect Jamie Crawley of HA Architecture. From our initial meetings in Austin, Acre was confident that Jamie shared the same commitment towards executing this architectural dream – he had to be the one.

The Cedars Ranch is a culmination of these collaborative relationships, along with Bill and Marilyn’s faith in the initial Storied Architecture process that allowed a firm from Canada to help make this Texas dream a reality, and to lay the foundation for creating new relationships for future projects in Texas. 

The Cedars Ranch is a testament to the potential of believing we can live better, and a tendency to dream big. After all,WE ARE WHAT WE CREATE."

- Stephen Kopp, Monica Adair and Kale Harper, The Acre

Let The Cedars Ranch be Part of Your Great Story!

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HA Architecture

The Story of Place

"We have to say, it is incredibly rewarding to see your client's dreams begin to literally take shape and even more touching to share those moments with them on site... We are HA Architecture and though it is often said form may follow function we also believe form follows fiction. In this case, this is a story about collaboration, dreaming big and believing we all seem to be a verb.

The story of place, a sense of belonging, sharing the experience of identity, family, heritage while rooted in culture, geography and environment are explorations worthy of a special project. And we were fortunate to hear of something that sparked this intention – and with that spark were not willing to miss this opportunity.

Maple Leaves from Quebec Jamie picked with his daughter Emily that were later used as imprints in the concrete for The Cedar Ranch Dance Hall (left); Inuksuk statuette in Jamie’s collection (center) and image of Inuksuk near the future The Cedars Ranch Entry plaza (right). Inuksuk are stone statues crafted by the Inuit in the image of man both as wayfinding and as sense of place, cultural identity and community.

Our young emerging design studio, HA Architecture embodies and through our design and service foster the values of sustainable development, connections to institutes of higher learning, modern thoughtful solutions that embrace community and the promotion of equity and justice in practice. The studio was created and is led by Canadian born Texas Architect Jamie Crawley, AIA who was honored this summer in New York as one of 18 American Institute of Architects 2018 National Young Architects of the Year and the only honoree from Texas.

Jamie Crawley, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB of HA Architecture

We met Marilyn and Bill through mutual friends as they began to flesh out their vision with their conceptual design team, Acre Architects. This timing of a convergence of Canucks in Texas and conversations of two emerging practices common values over coffee at an Austin institution, Kerbey Lane Café led to a beautiful collaboration that continues to this day. The slight irreverence to traditional process as well as a shared passion for Architecture fueled this initial meeting. Beyond a common heritage, Jamie explained his own appreciation and connection to another maritime Canadian Architect Brian Mackay Lyons whom his mentor Sir Malcolm Quantrill wrote a definitive work, Plain Modern feeling the qualities of his work resonated with the adept work of Acre Architects also based in the maritime provinces of Eastern Canada. Hence the architecture collaboration both had a collective vocabulary as well as sought to tell the stories of home and a place of new beginnings, Texas.

HA Architecture utilizing the conceptual roadmap and visioning process of Acre further developed the design collaboratively and contextually for the Texas construction environment as well as provided an executable framework to complement the sustainable goals of the development. Completing the design work with Jamie acting as Architect of Record we continue to aid the process through development and design of outdoor rooms, material and lighting selections, project phasing, construction detailing of the buildings and systems, integration of solar and rainwater collection, as well as consulting through the financial and construction process. And maybe most important to complement the spirit of this place, we are recognized green building professionals with extensive knowledge and award-winning experience implementing sustainable design standards (US Green Building Council’s LEED Program). Though The Cedars Ranch will not be seeking a specific certification level at this time the best practices approach of our collective team will allow this place to embody tangible and measurable environmental goals while complementing the modern architecture, wellness objectives and spirit of this setting in the Texas Hill Country.

The Cedars Ranch Great Hall

The Cedars Ranch as a process and a place also speaks to the spirit of two emerging Architecture practices and it is fitting for these clients with a vision of community to provide the framework to facilitate a cross border collaboration – all relishing the desire to dream big. We enjoy being hands on in dialogue with clients, stakeholders and in this case collaborators. 

It is rare to have deep design discussions of first nations, the spirit of a place, generosity, wellness, modern architecture and we find ourselves truly honored to join Marilyn, Bill, Stephen, Monica and Kale on this journey ~ Let us be one of the many to toast The Cedars Ranch as your adventure unfolds and we appreciate the opportunity to share a piece of this story with everyone."

- Jamie Crawley, HA Architecture