Situated in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, The Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette | The Hardt
Situated in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, The Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette. The design of the house was mostly inspired by John Charles van Dyke’s book, The Desert. Two volumes of light – one warm and one cool – one projected to the expansive horizon and one toward the canopy of the desert sky. Inspired by John Van Dyke’s ruminations on the phenomena of desert light specifically “colored air” and “reflected light” in his 1907 book titled The Desert – Further Studies in Natural Appearances. The 2200sf Dialogue House is a gestalt instrument for touching the full range and specificity of this light, this “place” – day and night, season to season and year to year. At the base of Echo Mountain (amidst an eclectic jumble of 1950′s-60′s ranch bungalows) the main living volume is elevated above work, guest, and the car, furthest from the street on a lateral pinwheel brace of charcoal masonry walls that extend cardinally capturing the site. This well-shaded volume is projected south toward the South Mountain and Sierra Estrella Mountain ranges far across the Phoenix basin and the downtown skyline.
At the base of Echo Mountain (amidst an eclectic jumble of 1950’s-60’s ranch bungalows), the main living volume is elevated above work, guest, and the car, furthest from the street on a lateral pinwheel brace of charcoal masonry walls that extend cardinally capturing the site. This well-shaded volume is projected south toward the South Mountain and Sierra Estrella mountain ranges far across the Phoenix basin and downtown skyline. The exterior surfaces of the pinwheel walls, as well as the main volume, absorb and reflect light akin to the “desert varnish” that coats the volcanic geology of the Phoenix Mountains turning silver, red, purple-brown-black during the day only to collapse into silhouettes at night. Thus, “life after work” is simultaneously supported by the apparent thickness and thinness of light. The interior of the street volume is plastered cool white, half terrace – half cool water as a retreat from the city within the city where one can only see the sky. Wind and water activated light is refracted onto the interior surfaces by day and most dramatically at night, which provides an animated foreground to the skyline and distant horizon beyond. Begun many years ago, the Dialogue House has an interesting history and was finally completed in April of 2012.
Located in Ica, Peru, Site Museum of Paracas Culture (2016) by Barclay & Crousse | The Hardt
Located in Ica, Peru, Site Museum of Paracas Culture (2016) by Barclay & Crousse. An archaeological museum must find the delicate balance between heritage conservation exposed and release to the public. A site museum, as the Paracas, acquires the additional challenge of having to integrate into the landscape that was the cradle of this culture, which is now part of the most important biological and landscaping reserve of the Peruvian coastal desert. The project is implemented practically on the ruins of what was its predecessor, destroyed by an earthquake in 2006. It retakes its rectangular geometry and compactness. A crack or flaw breaks in this volume, separating the functions of disclosure of the museum as workshops, meeting rooms and services dedicated to the conservation of archaeological heritage. The access to the different spaces of the museum is done by this “crack”: open spaces that frame portions of the landscape and create the necessary privacy to live in the vast desert.
Inside the museum, is explored a seemingly contradictory hybridization between the labyrinthine spatiality and spiral path used by the ancient Peruvians and contemporary spatiality, smooth and transparent. Environmental requirements of the Paracas Desert and the museological collection requirements are solved with a “device environmental correction”, that defines the architectural and museum party. The device consists of a lamppost run, under which are the transition spaces between exhibition halls or circulation spaces, according to the needs and his position in the project. This device allows controlling natural light, artificial light, natural ventilation and cooling of the different environments. Its geometry reinterprets the series and the gap characteristic of the Paracas textiles, which were his most outstanding technological and artistic expressions. The building is constructed entirely with pozzolan cement, resistant to the salt desert. The exposed concrete and cement grinding that constitute its materiality, acquire a natural reddish color that blends with the neighboring hills. The patina left by builders in the polished concrete that surrounds the museum rooms give to the museum a ceramic look that resembles the pre-Columbian ceramics (huacos) that are exposed inside.
Situated in a remote part of Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, Desert House by Marmol Radziner | The Hardt
Situated in a remote part of Desert Hot Springs, CA, United States, Desert House by Marmol Radziner. The 2,000 ft² (297 m²) Winter retreat employs four house modules and six deck modules. The Desert House, Marmol Radziner Prefab’s prototype home is oriented to best capture views of San Jacinto peak and the surrounding mountains. Located on a five-acre site in Desert Hot Springs, California, the house extends through the landscape with covered outdoor living areas, which double the 2000 square-foot interior spaces. A detached carport allows the owners to “leave the car behind” as they approach their home.
Designed for Leo Marmol and his wife Alisa Becket, the Desert House employs four house modules and six deck modules. Sheltered living spaces blend the indoors with the outdoors, simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing, which holds a guest house and studio space. The house hovers two feet above the desert landscape, anchored on a recessed platform. The main living space unfolds west to views of the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. Open frames provide sheltered living spaces blending indoors and outdoors, while simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing containing a guesthouse and studio space. By forming an “L”, the home creates a protected environment that includes a pool and fire pit.
The home is built with prefabricated technologies in a factory. Using steel framing, twelve feet wide modules can extend up to sixty-four feet in length and use any type of cladding, including metal, wood, or glass. The Desert House is built with three types of basic modules: interior modules comprising the living spaces, exterior modules defining covered outdoor living areas and sunshade modules providing protection from the sun. The design of the home employs passive and active solar technologies as well as sustainable design concepts. Solar panels provide power used by the house. Sunshades on the south and west facades minimize the impact of the harsh summer sun. In the colder months, concrete floors provide passive solar heat gain.
Completed in 2012 and located in Joshua Tree, CA Black Desert House by Oller & Pejic Architecture | The Hardt
Completed in 2012 and located in Joshua Tree, CA Black Desert House by Oller & Pejic Architecture. The dark color of the 1,560 ft²(145 m²) house interior adds to the primordial cave-like feeling. During the day, the interior of the house recedes and the views are more pronounced. At night the house completely dematerializes and the muted lighting and stars outside blend to form an infinite backdrop for contemplation. Live on the site right now. Link in bio #JoshuaTree #CA #Architecturelpo#Desert
This project began with an e-mail and a meeting in fall of 2008 for a house in Yucca Valley, which is located near Palm Springs, east of Los Angeles in the high desert near the Joshua Tree National Park. We had completed two projects in Yucca Valley and occasionally received inquiries about projects in the desert. In the midst of the economic downturn typically these inquiring led nowhere. We had just had our second child and things were looking rather uncertain. We decided to meet with Marc and Michele Atlan to see if their project was a reality. Even from the first communications, Marc’s enthusiasm was noticeable.
After the first meeting, we found that we shared a common aesthetic and process and after seeing the property we knew this was a project like nothing else we had done, really almost a once in a lifetime opportunity. There was no looking back, we immediately began work on the house. Beyond the technical and regulatory challenges of building on the site- several previous owners had tried and given up there was the challenge of how to build appropriately on such a sublime and pristine site. It is akin to building a house in a natural cathedral.
Our client had given us a brief but compelling instruction at the start of the process- to build a house like a shadow. This had a very specific relevance to the desert area where the sunlight is often so bright that the eye’s only resting place is the shadows. Unfortunately, the site had been graded in the 1960’s when the area was first subdivided for development. A small flat pad had been created by flattening several rock outcroppings and filing in a saddle between the outcroppings. To try to reverse this scar would have been cost prohibitive and ultimately impossible. It would be a further challenge to try to address this in the design of the new house. The house would be located on a precipice with almost 360-degree views to the horizon and a large boulder blocking views back to the road. A long process of research began with the clients showing us images of houses they found intriguing- mostly contemporary houses that showed a more aggressive formal and spatial language than the mid-century modern homes that have become the de-facto style of the desert southwest.
We looked back at precedents for how architects have dealt with houses located in similar topography and found that generally they either sought to integrate the built work into the landscape, as in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and later Rudolf Shindler or to hold the architecture aloof from the landscape as in the European modernist tradition of Mies van der Rohe. While on a completely virgin site, the lightly treading minimalist approach would be preferred, here we decided that the Western American tradition of Land Art would serve as a better starting point, marrying the two tendencies in a tense relationship with the house clawing the ground for purchase while maintaining its otherness. The house would replace the missing mountain that was scraped away, but not as a mountain, but a shadow or negative of the rock; what was found once the rock was removed, a hard glinting obsidian shard.
A concept in place, we began fleshing out the spaces and movement through the house. We wanted the experience of navigating the house to remind one of traversing the site outside. The rooms are arranged in a linear sequence from the living room to bedrooms with the kitchen and dining in the middle, all wrapping around an inner courtyard which adds a crucial intermediate space in the entry sequence and a protected exterior space in the harsh climate.
The dark color of the house interior adds to the primordial cave-like feeling. During the day, the interior of the house recedes and the views are more pronounced. At night the house completely dematerializes and the muted lighting and stars outside blend to form an infinite backdrop for contemplation. The project would never have come about without the continued efforts of the entire team. The design was a collaborative effort between Marc and Michele and the architects. The patience and dedication of the builder, Avian Rogers, and her subcontractors were crucial to the success of the project. Everyone who worked on the project knew it was something out of the ordinary and put forth incredible effort to see it completed.
Amangiri Resort located in 4 Corners Utah by an all-star squad of architects Marwan al Sayed Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy | The Hardt
Amangiri Resort located in 4 Corners Utah by an all-star squad of architects Marwan al Sayed Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy | The Hardt
Amangiri Resort located in 4 Corners Utah by an all-star squad of architects Marwan al Sayed Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy. Amangiri is located on 243 hectares (600 acres) in Canyon Point, Southern Utah, close to the border with Arizona. The resort is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views over colorful, stratified rock towards the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. The resort is a 25-minute drive from the nearest town of Page, Arizona and a 15-minute drive to the shores of LakePowell. Architecturally, the resort has been designed to blend into the landscape with natural hues, materials, and textures a feature of the design. The structures are commanding and in proportion with the scale of the natural surroundings, yet provide an intimate setting from which to view and appreciate the landscape
Arrival to the resort is via a winding road that descends into the valley and leads to the central Pavilion. Built around the main swimming pool, the Pavilion embraces a dramatic stone escarpment. Within the Pavilion is the Living Room, Gallery, Library, Dining Room, Private Dining Room, and Cellar. Two accommodation wings lead from the Pavilion into the desert: 17 suites are located within the North Wing and another 17 suites together with the Aman Spa are located within the South Wing. Outward views from the resort look over the untouched valley surrounded by lofty bluffs. Amangiri offers 34 suites in total: 13 Desert View Suites, 14 Mesa View Suites, one Terrace Suite, two Pool Suites, two Terrace Pool Suites, the Girijaala Suite and the Amangiri Suite.
Entry to each suite is via a private the courtyard that features a Douglas Fir timber screen and includes a dining table, two chairs, and a sculptured light form. A glass wall with a central door opens to a combined bedroom and living area which includes a writing desk and a king-sized bed. Beyond the bed is a sitting area which features a low-set sofa, a coffee table, reading chairs and a side table. A soaring timber cabinet separates the bedroom and living area from the dressing room and houses a television and combined CD/DVD player. Concertina glass doors open from the sitting area to a spacious desert lounge that frames the view of the natural landscape beyond. The lounge contains a plinth with resting mattresses and a central fireplace.
The adjacent sky-lit dressing room extends the full length of the suite and features an extensive wardrobe with a personal safe and spacious dressing area with twin vanities atop a stone plinth. To one end of the dressing room is a separate toilet room and to the other, a spacious bathroom lined with sage green tiles. The bathroom features twin rain showers and a comfortable soaking tub with uninterrupted views of the landscape.
Design finishes include white stone floors and concrete walls that echo the natural stone of the surrounding landscape. The furniture features rawhide, natural timbers, and fittings in blackened steel, while light-colored cushions and soft throws add warmth.
STAAB Residence by Chen + Suchart Studio situated in Scottsdale, Arizona | The Hardt
STAAB Residence by Chen + Suchart Studio situated in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 3,000 ft² (279 m²) house presents itself as a series of sand-blasted 12-8-16 masonry walls upon which a stainless steel and glass-clad volume float. The context for this site consists of larger homes on one-acre lots. Aesthetically, the neighboring houses’ architectural language is more often than not, associated with speculative developer trends and styles, rather than an integrated understanding of the site, the views, and other opportunities. As a result, the project required a strategy which would edit out the immediate context of this neighborhood while focusing on distant views of the McDowell Mountains to the north and the valley to the south and southwest. The project also seeks to create a protected courtyard space for the backyard and pool area as an immediate focus for the lower level of the house in contrast to the second level taking advantage of the more distant views.
The masonry walls are solid with minimal openings in order to edit out the existing context of the neighborhood while also ensuring privacy. In specific locations associated with the entry courtyard and the outdoor space for a guest bedroom, the masonry gradually opens up it’s coursing to allow for light and air. A separate weathering steel plate clad volume to the south houses the garage while also providing privacy to the pool area and backyard from a neighboring house.
Entering into the residence takes one along a monolithic field of desert grasses and through a portal created by two masonry walls and the volume above. One is ushered into a garden space while being focused on the views north of the McDowell Mountains. This garden space offers an area of repose in order to mentally dispose of the immediate context of the neighborhood before entering the house. Upon entering, the main living space is configured as one uninterrupted volume of space. These public spaces open immediately to the pool and backyard living areas by means of sliding glass panels that fully disappear. The entry garden is maintained as part of the living space’s experience by the stair being as visibly open as possible while maintaining definition to the entry area.
An adjacent series of spaces in between two masonry walls house two guest bedrooms each having their own distinctive experiences of the site. One is focused on the immediate backyard area while the other is focused on the more distant view to the north. One larger bathroom space separates these two bedrooms while the water closet, walk-in shower, and bath configuration also maintain a focused view to the north. The master suite and office are located in the volume above. A panoramic view of the McDowell Mountains to the north is offered in each of these second level spaces. The master bedroom, dressing, and bathroom spaces are configured as one large suite in order to provide an open relationship while emphasizing the panoramic quality of the view to the north. The roof overhangs located on the south and west sides mitigate the solar heat gain while also providing a patio space overlooking the courtyard space. The upstairs volume is clad in 11 gage 4’ wide stainless steel plate cut to length directly from the coil, and 1” insulated glass panels with a silver colored high-performance thermal coating. The strategy of the cladding for this volume was to create an envelope that would best absorb the environment and allow for a varying perception of color and finish throughout the day.
Barrio Historico House (2011) by HK Associates Inc located in Tucson, Arizona, United States | The Hardt
Barrio Historico House (2011) by HK Associates Inc located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. Located in Tucson’s Barrio Historico, this residence is a modern interpretation of the neighborhood’s traditional courtyard architecture. From the street, the house is anonymous, fitting into the Barrio context with façade proportions and door and window openings in keeping with neighborhood guidelines. The interior of the house is something very different: a contemplative courtyard experience focused on the sky and a swimming pool that fosters a year-round connection between the home’s interior and exterior spaces. The house contains an additional surprise: a long rooftop periscope over the kitchen draws the view of the distant mountain vista into the interior of the house where it appears as if looking through a broad window. This experience of the interplay of framed views and reflections is repeated in subtler ways throughout the house, capturing the intimacy of the courtyard and its landscaping as well as the ever-changing Sonoran desert sky.
The Hanging Rock House by Six Degrees Architects situated in Melbourne, Australia | The Hardt
The Hanging Rock House by Six Degrees Architects situated in Melbourne, Australia. The aim was to take advantage of the site context and views, all within a simple and cost-effective structure. The land offered a panoramic view toward Hanging Rock. Unfortunately, this view is to the South. The challenge was to orientate to the view and maintain direct northern light through the house. With its location on a hill, the sculpting of the land was required prior to construction. This physical integration of the built form with the surroundings reinforces the project’s connection with its context.
The approach to the house is deliberately nonlinear borrowing from ancient traditions. Therefore, there was no provision for a ‘front door’ but instead, there is an ‘arrival courtyard’. The house is organized around a living wing and a sleeping wing with a secondary living space at the junction. This house is the family’s primary residence that caters to all their living needs, all within a simple structure that orientates the inhabitants towards the views and the surrounding environment.
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