TxDOT – Culberson County Safety Rest Area

Culberson County, Texas

This Safety Rest Area is located on both sides of Interstate Highway 10 in Culberson County which is roughly ten miles east of Van Horn, Texas. Each site features one main visitor building (8700sf) consisting of a bank of restrooms and anchored by a lobby with exhibit space, and one stand-alone restroom building (2700sf), one play area with a canopy structure, multiple picnic arbors, and a network of concrete walking trails.

Due to the nature of the site, the architectural theme revolves heavily around the expansive desert landscape and voluminously star-filled night skies. The main visitor buildings are elevated on the mesa which allows the motorists to venture upwards toward a higher perspective as they approach the buildings. The buildings then continue to escalate in height, directing the public toward views that encapture Guadalupe Peak (75 miles away) and the surrounding desert terrain. The main lobby wall is angled to toward the mountain views to lead visitors to an open air observation deck where they can experience the arid environment and vast views. Lobby materials include durable terrazzo flooring to mimic the desert sand, clear finished maple wood slat ceiling like the ceiling of the adobe huts that once stood in its place, plaster finished walls, and exposed steel structure.

The facility’s primary purpose is to prevent road weariness and accidents by attracting drivers to break for a few minutes. Educational and interactive exhibit areas are used for this purpose which illustrate the local culture and history as well as to provide information on the native surroundings. Amenities include storm shelters, DPS Offices, vending areas, restrooms and video surveillance systems.