Gather with your friends, family, or colleagues at the Plant at Kyle, a dramatic architectural landmark on 17 Hill-Country acres just 30 miles from downtown Austin.



  • Welcome to The Plant at Kyle

    Gather with family, friends or colleagues at this limestone and steel architectural landmark on 17 Hill Country acres just 30 miles from downtown Austin. With dramatic and varied spaces perfect for entertaining, this is a truly unique setting for an event large or small. Relax in "the world's largest screened-in porch", take a dip in the covered outdoor pool, read a book on one of several shaded patios, or on a hammock hanging in a grove of trees.

    The tastefully furnished, 3-bedroom home sleeps up to ten in king or queen-sized beds and two bunk beds, but the focus here is on year-round indoor/outdoor living perfected in classic Texas ranch houses. An award-winning architectural landmark, the building was designed by Lake|Flato Architects as a private residence using steel recycled from the Alamo Cement Plant. The house was completed in 1989.

  • The towering, wraparound porch/patio, with its own groupings of lounge chairs and a large elm table which seats ten, is the centerpiece of the house, connecting the north and south buildings to the pool by a shaded dog-run passageway.
  • Plant Exterior
  • Past guests have enjoyed cocktail and dinner parties, creative conferences, yoga sessions, leisurely card games, and dances in this flexible, dramatic space
  • Swimming Pool
  • 1. Bedroom with 2 queen beds
    2. Laundry and Bathroom
    3. Screened Patio
    4. Kitchen
    5. Living / Dining
    6. Bathroom
    7. Bedroom with king and bunk bed
    8. Game Closet
    9. Closet
    10. Bathroom
    11. Bedroom with queen bed
    12. Sitting Room
  • Floor Plans

  • Indoor amenities:
    Living room
    Working inglenook fireplace
    Dining room
    Kitchen (fully equipped)
    3 bedrooms
    3 full baths
    Bed / bath linens provided
    Washer / dryer
    Central heat
    Air conditioning
    Wireless internet access
    Radio/CD/DVD player
    Magazines of local interest
    Nature field guides
    Star charts
  • House Interior
  • Outdoor amenities:
    Swimming pool
    Screened-in porch/patio
    Adjacent field parking (50+ cars)
    2 acre fenced-in lawn
    Shaded oak courtyards
    17 acres of prairie to explore

    Grazing livestock including cattle, sheep, and donkeys.

    Wildlife includes gray fox, turkeys, armadillos, road runners, deer, buzzards, toads and hawks
  • Patio



  • A house with a history

    The Plant at Kyle, a.k.a the Carraro Residence or the Alamo Cement Plant House, began life in the 1920s as a shed at the Alamo Cement plant in San Antonio, Texas (since re-purposed as the Alamo Quarry Market mall).Henry and Francine Carraro purchased the property in Kyle with plans to build a home utilizing a metal building they already owned. They started conversations with the newly launched firm of Lake | Flato Architects, led by David Lake and Ted Flato who met working for legendary Texas architect O'Neill Ford's firm Ford Powell & Carson.

  • The Alamo Cement plant warehouse was disassembled and trucked to forty acres of Texas Hill Country to be reassembled as the framework for The Plant, aka Carraro House.
  • Cement Plant Best Picture
    Lake and Flato had admired the rugged industrial architecture of the cement plant, and when they learned it was scheduled to be demolished, suggested that Henry try to buy some of the soon-to-be scrapped materials for use on his Kyle property. Henry negotiated a very good price for the purchase, disassembly, moving, and re-assembly of one of the plant's smaller buildings, a 180 ft. long x 40 ft. wide x 30 ft. tall steel-framed building on the spot of land in Kyle.

    Cement Plant Composite
    The architect's configuration of the steel framing consists of three separate sections: an open garage shed, (under which a pool was added by the second owner); a corrugated-covered central "dog-run" pavilion featuring laundry and utility areas, a bath/shower and library(now bedroom) topped by a master suite in the center; and the longest stretch, a screened patio-porch into which has been built a limestone structure containing kitchen, living and dining rooms under a bedroom and bath. Shortly after the building was finished it started to draw attention for the young firm, attracting local, regional and national AIA awards and publications.

    The owner of an adjacent property and home, Genevieve Vaughan, bought the property when Henry Carraro moved to Little Rock earlier in the decade. The current owners, Dana Friis-Hansen, and Mark Holzbach, acquired the property in July, 2007. In recognition of its unique architectural significance and history, they are preserving it in its original form, creating an educational and historical archive, and making the home available to a broader public through events and rentals, with a portion of the proceeds going towards restoration, conservation, and maintenance.

    Cement Plant Exterior
  • The Carraro House won the following architectural awards:
    AIA Western Home Award, 1993;
    AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture, 1992;
    AIA San Antonio Design Award, 1991;
    Texas Society of Architects / AIA Design Award, 1991;
  • Cement Plant Best Picture

    About the Architects

    The Plant at Kyle was designed by Lake | Flato Architects, a nationally recognized architectural firm that creates modern, environmentally responsible, artful, carefully crafted tactile buildings that successfully merge with the landscape. The firm's portfolio incorporates a vast array of project types including family retreats, museums, interpretive centers, university buildings, schools, arboretums, and corporate headquarters.

    Lake | Flato has won more than 90 national and regional design awards, including the AIA's Honor Award in 1992, 1997, 1999 and 2007; and the AIA Firm of the Year Award in 2004 (the highest honor the AIA confirms, recognizing a practice that has produced distinguished architecture consistently for at least 10 years). Lake | Flato's work has also been featured in 51 books (including two monographs), and 81 national publications.


  • Recommended Swimming
    In addition to The Plant's own swimming pool:

    The Blue Hole, a natural swimming hole in Wimberley, Texas

    Schlitterbahn, an award winning "World's Best!" water park, in New Braunfels, 40 minutes south on I-35
  • Swimming Pool



  • Selected Publications

    The Plant at Kyle, aka Carraro Residence, has been featured in many books and articles, a few of which are listed here. Most of these books are available from both new and used booksellers.

  • Book Cover
    by Diane Keaton,
    Rizzoli, 2012
    Book Cover
    Urban Country Style
    by Nancy Gent and Elizabeth Betts Hickman
    Gibbs Smith, 2007
    Book Cover
    Corrugated Iron: Building on the Frontier
    by Adam Mornement and Simon Holloway
    W.W. Norton, 2007
    Book Cover
    Lake | Flato: Buildings and Landscapes
    edited by Oscar Riera Ojeda,
    Rockport Publishers, 2005
    Book Cover
    They Slept Upon Their Rifles
    by Marshall E. Kuykendall
    Nortex Press, Austin, Texas, 2005
    Book Cover
    Geometry in Architecture
    by Clovis Heimsath,
    UT Press, 2002
    Book Cover
    Outside Architecture: Outdoor Rooms Designed by Architects
    by Susan Zevon,
    Rockport Publishers, 1999
    Book Cover
    Metropolitan Home: American Style
    by Dylan Landis,
    Clarkson Potter, 1999
    Book Cover
    Stone Built: Contemporary American Houses
    by Lee Goff,
    The Monacelli Press, 1997
    Book Cover

    The New American House
    edited by Oscar Riera Ojeda,
    Watson-Guptill, 1995


  • We love hearing from our guests!
    If you would like to share a comment, please send it to

  • It's exciting for us to see the "Old House" brimming with new energy.
    Ted Flato, San Antonio, Texas


    We want to come back in the Fall, in the Winter, and in the Spring to see the beautiful settings, the lights, the trees, the grass, the insects, and the animals.
    Buvoli family, USA and Italy


    I have only praise and positive comments about The Plant. The venue is beyond exceptional on its own. In addition, everyone is responsive to every question and need, and a delight to work with. It is a 100% positive experience. Several family members and even one of the vendors want to plan a stay at the place for themselves. I don't have any recommendations that could make the experience any better. It was perfect.
    C.K., host of a wedding at The Plant

    Wedding Reception


    It's hard for me to really capture just how exciting it was for us to stay at The Plant. First, there was something truly special about the AIA plaque at the entry. Kind of gave us a sense of pride being architects. Having the plans available let us "dork out" when we wanted to look up a detail or something.

    The house itself was incredibly beautiful. I had never been in a relaxed, vacation atmosphere where no matter where I sat, no matter which direction I looked, there was something that visually captured my interest. Waking up in the upstairs guest bedroom with the views out onto the structure was amazing.

    One person in our party had been living in Portland for the last ten years. He was longing to see a Texas thunderstorm roll in and Friday night certainly delivered. There was about six solid hours of lightning and thunder with the biggest downpour smack in the middle. There is no better place than the hill country to watch a storm roll in, and there´s no better place to watch a storm roll in than in that house. That porch truly lets you experience the magnitude of nature and the metal roof amplifies the whole thing. It was an event all of its own.

    Thanks again for making this place available. We have every intention of returning and I'm excited to share it with other architect friends.
    Eric Bell, AIA, LEED AP, Dallas, Texas

    Cement Plant Exterior


    This place is amazing! You go down a dirt road and "into the woods" and then The Plant takes your breath away!
    Jim Comer, Austin, Texas


    I'm so glad I got to experience this. Truly a great piece of architecture.
    Anne Kennedy, Austin, Texas


    Thank you for bringing a picture in a book alive!
    Robert and Jill Turner, Austin, Texas


  • Photography:
    Chris Archer
    Hester + Hardaway
    Rino Pizzi
    Jacob Termansen

    Website by

  • Bookings

    Information about rates, reservations and current availability is constantly updated and available at Home Away, our vacation home rental management website.


    For inquiries other than those relating to reservations, please email us at, or call Mark Holzbach (512) 689 6777.


    From time to time, we post notices about special events at the Plant. Please "like" our Facebook page.

    Street address

    In an effort to protect the privacy of our guests and the sanity of our neighbors, we intentionally keep the street address of The Plant confidential. If you would like to schedule a viewing of The Plant, we'll be happy to arrange one at a mutually convenient time.

    If you are holding an event at The Plant, we will provide you with the driving directions to send to invited guests and event service providers. We ask that invited guests and service providers request the driving directions in advance from your event hosts.

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