• Cheré Dastugue Coen

Lubbock dream house made of 110 tons of steel

Home a lifelong project of architecture professor.



It’s one thing to hear about the incredible Robert Richard Bruno house, a Lubbock, Texas, home made out of 110 tons of scrap metal. It’s quite another to turn a corner and have the 2,200-square-foot unique architectural structure come into view.


The three-story house overlooking Ransom Canyon outside of Lubbock was the lifelong project of Bruno, a Texas Tech College of Architecture professor. He began the home in 1974 and worked on it until his death in 2008 but he never saw it completed. He lived there for only seven months.

The house still needs 30 percent more work to be complete but it's unclear if this will happen. His daughter, Christina Bruno, owns the house, and it's mostly been used for photo shoots (shown on record covers and in Vogue magazine, among others) and is sometimes open for tours.

We visited in 2018 and Henry F. Martinez — who worked with Bruno for 22 years and took over Bruno’s company, P and R Surge Systems — gave us a tour inside the odd architectural wonder. Temperatures were hitting 100 that day, and a house made of all that steel gets pretty stifling inside. Once Martinez opened the front door and a small living room window that faces the lake, a breeze brought some relief. (The last photo is me not so bravely sitting inside that open window.)


The Steel House with its curves and round windows resembles a hobbit enclave, but above ground as if on legs. There are twists and turns inside, stairs heading up and down the three levels, and stained glass for colorful accents. Once through the front door and down the entrance hall if you will, visitors emerge into the living room that jets over the canyon and offers a gorgeous view of Lake Ransom Canyon. On one side of the hallway is a small kitchen, the other the master bedroom with full bath and some of Bruno's furniture and items. Stairs lead down to a dark level where Bruno wanted to create his office while upstairs is a lounge area, complete with a stage ready for performances.


Want to learn more? Dallas Morning News did a wonderful article on the house.

Yours truly literally on the edge of the Bruno House.

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© 2020 by Weird, Wacky, & Wild blog

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