The small-town hotbed of art and architecture that is Marfa, Texas inspires quite a bit of controversy for a place with population of about 2,000. Last fall, the delightful faux Prada store that put Marfa on the map was deemed an illegal piece of outdoor advertising, and its fate is still unclear, while a less appealing roadside Playboy sculpture recently got booted to Dallas. But look beyond these dustups over roadside art and the quieter side of this rural artists' enclave proves to be no less worthy of attention. Take this recently listed single-bedroom home by designer Barbara Hill, a century-old adobe dance hall the designer, gallery owner, and former Miss Texas converted into a minimalist open-plan retreat. For a mere $895K, maybe it's about time to entertain the idea of a rural getaway with a sculptural sensibility.
In 2011 Dwell shed a bit of light on the renovation process, which involved knocking down a few walls and installing a frame of immense steel beams inside the place to shore up the tension and lend some definition to the soaring birchwood ceiling. Of her decision to place the bathtub in the middle of the expansive bedroom, Hill said simply that "the romance of it appeals to me. I get so much joy waking up, because the first thing I see from my bed is this trough-shaped bathtub that reminds me of a cowboy boot." She didn't touch on what inspired "Make Tacos Not War" sign installed above the kitchen sink, but the message there is simple enough. The New York Times has an in-depth look at one of Hill's earlier West Texas renovations, which is worth checking out if her pared-down approach here strikes a chord.
· Dance Hall Redux [Deasy/Penner & Partners via The Value of Architecture]