The Franklin Mountains extend into the north end of El Paso like a peninsula of rocky wilderness into the urban landscape of the city, rising 2500 feet above the Rio Grande river valley. The home site is set in the foothills of the Franklins 800 feet above the city perched just above a small canyon with unobstructed views of downtown El Paso and Juarez to the south. As the raw and rugged native landscape comes down the slope and meets the masses of the house the land starts to feel more controlled and cultivated. The steep site becomes a series of terraces that catch and slows the flow of water and the flow of life here. This mountain side oasis becomes enriched with native succulents and cacti, colorful grasses and aromatic herbs. A sustainable ecosystem on a small scale for a family that has turned a “hard” site into their sanctuary on the hillside.