A Look Inside the Legendary Steel House

Approaching the 40th anniversary of its beginning, architect Robert Bruno's Steel House is still attracting widespread attention. KLBK's Alison Morris went inside for a tour.
"To me, he was just a different person from a normal person. He was just an intellectual, different person from anybody else."

That's how curator, Henry Martinez, describes his friend and the architect of the Steel House, Robert Bruno.

"He was a genius," said Martinez. "Very intelligent, very kind. Very respected by everybody. Especially me."

Bruno began construction on the project in 1974 when he was a professor of Architecture at Texas Tech.

"He started with a small sculpture at Texas Tech," said Martinez. "And he thought when he was sitting under it, it's just 16 feet tall, similar to the house- nowhere near as big as the house- He thought, why can't I make something instead of sitting under it to live inside it?"

To walk through the house is to have your breath taken away.

"It was a test of faith. An act of faith, shall we say," Martinez said.

Over the years, each piece of steel, big and small was cut, crafted, and placed by Bruno himself.

"He'd be out here at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning still welding."

Bruno did just about everything himself taking extreme precision in the execution of his vision.

Weighing in at 110 tons, the house is crafted of Cor-ten steel.

It rusts only to a certain extent and then stops.

The rust then forever protects the steel.

"This house will be here after I'm gone and you're gone," said Martinez. "That's how long it's gonna be here. It'll be here forever."

The house has gotten plenty of acclaim and recognition over the years.

Most recently, from Vogue magazine.

"It was astronomical," said Martinez. "That's the biggest thing that has ever happened here."

Martinez says dozens of models, photographers and crew members descended on the house doing a futuristic spread.

The magazine has flown off the shelves.

You'd be very lucky to find a copy anywhere around here.

"When this comes out- and it already did-" said Martinez. "It's going to open up a very good relationship with Ransom Canyon, and of course the exposure of a beautiful work of art."
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