2023 RDAA | Custom Accessory or Outbuilding | Verde Creek Ranch Boathouse | Lake|Flato Architects

Cypress, naturally, is the theme that ties Verde Creek Ranch Boathouse to its location. A shared amenity for the three siblings who own the ranch, it references the land’s cypress trees, which also inspired Lake | Flato’s treatment of the family cabins nearby. Here, the architects’ open-ended mandate was to provide not only a place to stack kayaks and paddleboards but to celebrate the glories of a lazy Texas lake. Sited near a giant oak and existing deck where the clients have picnics, the boathouse straddles the coastal zone between the restored landscape and the water. Its roof pitches up to the north, shading the occupants from the hot sun. “It’s lovely how the boathouse lifts to the view yet has some enclosure,” a judge commented.

From a distance the building appears light and transparent, like a dragonfly skimming the liquid surface. Along the gangway, boats are stored in a cypress-slatted enclosure opposite the slips. An outdoor grill area sits along the corridor next to the screened porch. This space is defined by a thickened, cypress-clad western wall containing storage closets on the outside and a kitchenette on the inside—just big enough for a stainless steel countertop, sink, and undercounter fridge. Behind the screened porch is a more exposed sunbathing porch. And a lower dock sits on floaters, allowing it to rise and fall with the water level. “Each family had some requests, and one of them wanted to be able to jump off the roof into the water,” Laura says. Other family members vetoed that idea, but as a compromise the architects gave them a diving platform out on the lake.

A world unto itself, “the boathouse sits so slightly on the landscape, it’s almost weightless,” a judge said. “It’s kind of like a dock or pier that got made into a building.”

Honor Award

Custom Accessory or Outbuilding

Lake | Flato Architects

Verde Creek Boathouse

Center Point, Texas

Project Credits

Architect: Ted Flato, FAIA, principal in charge; Laura Kaupp Jensen, AIA, project manager; Sam Xu, AIA, Megan Toma, AIA, project designers, Lake | Flato Architects, San Antonio, Texas

Builder: Duecker Construction, Stonewall, Texas

Interior designer: Schooler, Kellogg & Co., Dallas

Landscape architect: Studio Outside, Dallas

Project size: 2,722 square feet

Site size: 2,000 acres

Construction cost: Withheld

Photography: Casey Dunn

Key Products

Cabinetry and door hardware: Sugatsune, Emtek

Cabinetry and millwork: Cypress

Ceiling fan: MinkaAire

Countertops: Stainless steel

Floating dock: AccuDock

Lighting: BK Lighting, Barn Light Electric

Outdoor grill: DCS

Roofing: Paint grip metal roof 

Wood siding/slats: Cypress

Wood stain: Valhalla