The Watering Hole is a novelty brewpub and hotel housed within one of El Paso’s skyscraping water towers. Situated within the desert basin between the Franklin and Hueco Mountains, The Watering Hole echoes the history of its surroundings which once provided a reliable source of sustenance and hydration for the region’s early inhabitants. Today, this brewpub serves as an enticing stopover for travellers and locals alike who are in search of a cold drink or simply a respite from the harsh desert sun.
A narrative structured around travel and discovery informed the final design. Through the process, an intrepid puddle jumping travel journalist travelled from El Paso to Edinburgh, making stops along the way in cities of increasing annual precipitation. In these cities, she documented architectural typologies, illustrated chance encounters, and formulated a packing list with items centred around a common theme.
To make use of the desert floor’s thermal mass and block out noise from the nearby highway, eight hotel rooms are embedded a half story below ground. These rooms are oriented to the south to prevent unnecessary heat gains within El Paso’s desert climate. This portion of the structure is constructed of cast in place concrete and steel beams. Each unit is accompanied by a patio and stepped garden to provide a space for visitors to privately relax, while a shaded walkway connects the individual accommodations to a public courtyard. In this space, a concrete wall cast with a geometric pattern provides visual intrigue, for guests as they grab some breakfast and relax on the patio.