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Coming Home to Aluminum

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Aluminum has long been a favourite in the metal crowd. Celebrated for its low density and ability to resist corrosion, this silvery-white nonmagnetic metal is the bomb across a whack of applications. From industrial kitchen interiors to MacBook Pro exteriors, this ductile darling is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. It’s also the most widely used non-ferrous metal and second only to iron in worldwide production count.


But to an architect named Jeff Basehore, it’s simply home.


In 2000, Basehore built himself a 6,233-square-foot house on a 50-acre stretch in Hawkins, TX, a tiny city in the northeast part of the state about a two-hour drive outside of Dallas. The home is unique for many reasons, not the least of which are the spectacular views afforded from its three sprawling bedrooms and the 30-foot-high screened-in porch.


But among the most unique features of this remarkable dwelling that stands like a lone star in Texas hill country? The fact that it is built entirely from aluminum.


The effect is stunning. The entire outside of the spacious home is a corrugated marvel. And more than that, its all-aluminum construction offers all kinds of practical benefits to the homeowner. For one, it’s fireproof. For another, it’s not given to attracting either mould or bugs. Nobody has to worry about termites or dry rot, and lightning simply passes through the structure to the ground.


Oh, and because aluminum conducts heat like a bandit, you could bake your bread just by leaving it on a countertop.


The property—currently on the market for US$1.5 million—also includes a 1,200-square-foot caretaker house, a 960-square-foot guest house, and a private lake.


Still, this special aluminum Texas abode isn’t as novel as it might initially appear. Inventor and architect R. Buckminster Fuller previously built the aluminum “Dymaxion House” in 1945 to address shortcomings with existing homebuilding techniques, and luxury RV manufacturer Airstream has been making aluminum houses for decades. And on wheels, too!

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