The Hill Country Jacal by Lake Flato Architects

We couldn’t go a whole week without including a slice of architectural inspiration in the format, it just wouldn’t feel right. So I’ve raided the archives of Texas based firm Lake Flato once again presenting this beautiful hill country home which is based upon a Mexican design concept called the Jacal. This type of construction is defined as a lean-to structure which is popular in hotter climates as it allows the flow of air within the build to circulate efficiently.

Historically this style of home was originally built by the native people of America and would traditionally consist of sets of poles tied together which were then filled out with clay. Post European Colonisation the Jacal design was developed to include adobe bricks which would be shaped out of sun baked mud or sandstone. Lake Flato have opted for a more modern take on this age old design but the same principles remain in this build, it’s great to see they are incorporating techniques which will have been used in Texas for centuries.

This particular Jacal has been created as a weekend retreat and is located in the Bear Creek west of San Antonio. Incased in thick limestone blocks on the northwest side the winter winds are held at bay keeping the inhabitants cosy in the colder months. This home really comes into its own in the summer months however with the cedar pole structure oriented towards the prevailing summer breeze, which in turn complements the bright interior space achieved through it’s large glass surface.

It’s not a design that I’ve come across much before and perhaps thats because of the weather differences here in England. I just felt that it was an interesting project to showcase as it helps us all to look at the idea of a conventional home from a different perspective. If you’ve not visited the Lake Flato Architects website yet and hold an active interest in architecture I can really recommend heading across there.


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