Holy Rosary Church Complex (2004) by Trahan Architects

Holy Rosary Church Complex (2004) by Trahan Architects

Holy Rosary Church Complex (2004) by Trahan Architects located In Louisiana, USA. | The Hardt

Holy Rosary Church Complex (2004) by Trahan Architects located In Louisiana, USA. The design of the Holy Rosary Complex-comprised of an oratory, administrative building, and religious education building-for a rural Catholic Parish In South Louisiana is an honest exploration of form, function, light, and materials that result in an engaging and profound study in sacred space. Neither opulent nor austere, Holy Rosary Chapel presents a thoughtful meditation on sacred spaces and the spatial embodiment of spiritual experience. The masterplan for the rural campus creates a strong sense of place and draws a distinction between the program’s sacred and secular components. Secular components of the campus take form as linear or “edge” buildings-an administrative block, two linear classroom bars, a religious education building-which form the courtyard in which the oratory is located. The oratory, or chapel, is the focus of the otherwise orthogonal composition but is itself skewed to further underscore its importance and to create a sense of expectation.




Working with a limited palette of poured-in-place concrete, plate glass, and cast glass, the architects created a meditative environment that places a high importance on spatial characteristics and the play of light on-these humble materials. Design of the oratory stems from the concept of the womb-a universal, pure and sacred space. All six sides of the oratory cube sides are equal in size, a color, and texture. The result is an interior space that feels encompassing, protective and mysterious.  Light enters through a variety of openings carved from the wall thickness without revealing context or light source beyond. In addition to giving occupants a sense of orientation, the obscured presence of light is symbolic of The paschal mystery of Christ. 



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Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson located in Finger Lakes, NY | The Hardt


Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson located in Finger Lakes, NY. This property had a wildness that captured the client’s interest immediately. They understood the raw beauty of Seneca Lake when they began looking for a site on the exposed eastern shoreline. A hunting lodge once sat on the site, but burned to the ground many years ago. It wasn’t until they hiked upstream, into the 100-plus acre property’s deep cut ravine that they found a waterfall, hidden within the site’s botanically diverse plant palette. It was the site’s inherent drama and ephemeral delicacy that bound the owners to this place and ultimately defined the design direction for the house and landscape.

Project Program


The project scope included a four-season weekend retreat for a family of four that supported their active life on the lake and love of the out-of-doors. In addition to three bedrooms for the main house, the architect was asked to create areas for office, exercise, and guests, in addition to a boathouse and garage. From the beginning, the Landscape Architect (LA) worked closely with the design team towards a strategy that would repair and enhance the site’s ecological function.

Site Planning


The design decision to break the program down into separate but connected structures came from the need to respond to the narrow site, the solar orientation, and the disturbed area of the old hunting lodge. The extrusion of the parts along a line of circulation, the site’s outdoor hallway, created opportunities for outdoor rooms formed by the interplay of existing trees and the framing of the space by the building walls.



The design resolution locates the primary family room on the point, like a boat, with its prow forward, exposed, and open to the drama of the seasons and the prevailing eastern winds at the water’s edge. The more private rooms of the house gather behind this front room and are more protected, nestled in the ravine. A bridge for pedestrians and the family’s all-terrain vehicle spans the creek and connects the main house to the boathouse, which sits at the water’s edge. Further still is a three-car garage on the bluff above the main building site. All cars remain high on the bluff at the garage, thereby limiting the primary circulation around the house to foot-traffic.

Landscape Strategy


The LA, the architect, and the client agreed that the site’s inherent natural beauty and ecological diversity needed to be prioritized over all other site decisions. The client stressed the desire to be responsible ecological stewards so grading was minimized to pathways and roads and the diverse plant palette carefully edited to allow the house to slip into the existing landscape.



The charge of making the site appear untouched was far more difficult to achieve than it might seem. The LA began with a comprehensive survey of the existing plants and determined that the diversity of the herbaceous groundcover was both remarkable and unusual, even in the Finger Lakes. The LA, with a staff trained in landscape architecture, arboriculture and horticulture, determined that the project sat within four existing ecological communities: Dry Upland Forest, Moist Upland Forest, Floodplain Forest, and Seasonally Inundated Wetland. The project planting plan mixed these communities into five planting zones (See Planting Zones Diagram). The plant list is composed of plants that fall within a mix of vegetation communities (See Plant List).



Plant groupings within each zone reflect variations in elevation, slope, and aspect. The most interesting lesson learned was that the shale soils change pH radically as they degrade. The tops of the relatively shallow ravine have much lower pH than the bottom. The result is extreme diversity in a small area because of the dramatic changes in soil pH, light, and weather (Seneca Lake’s deep waters moderate the temperatures on the site, so it can be snowing at the garage when there is no snow at the main house). There was not an analog upon which to model this project. Finding the appropriate plant material in nurseries proved challenging and it was difficult to find trees that blended seamlessly into the forest. The layout of the plants mimicked existing conditions so that the plants looked to be the result natural propagation in the microenvironments where they occur naturally. The careful culling or retention of existing material was an integral part of the project. Three years later, the site is healthier than ever, with bursts of trout lilies, trillium, and ferns in the early spring.

Site Forces


This is a highly volatile site and the weather extremes are felt throughout the seasons. The builder and the LA discussed in detail site drainage and water flow to save existing trees. The LA planted the slopes and pinned down dead trees to provide slope and wind erosion control during seasonal storms and to trap organic material so seedlings could grow rather than wash out. Vegetation grows easily in the fertile soils of the flatland with its high water table at 18” deep. The stream run can be violent in the spring and after heavy rains, with water elevation changing from flood stage to nearly dry throughout the year. Rather than guarding against these conditions, the design team saw these ephemeral shifts as an essential part of the experience of the place.



During the two-year planting process, it became apparent that a traditional approach to landscape management would not work. The LA wrote a meadow management plan for the different meadow areas but the plantings would require constant editing by someone who understood the plants over time and could choose which volunteers to keep and which to pull. The LA and client searched for the right person and found a botanist from Cornell University, who became so attached to the property that he now serves as a consultant that supervises the on-going site work. His discovery of a threatened New York State species on-site, Agastache nepetoides- Yellow Giant Hyssop, deepened his commitment to the place.

Materials and Site Details


All aspects of this project were carefully adapted to the site and considered for their regenerative results. The house design has a respectful relationship to the land and site, using sustainably harvested tropical wood for the boardwalk, a beach shale gravel path excavated from the shore edge of the site, New York granite paths, and beach shale splash blocks and drip lines. Through careful siting and thoughtful interplay of architectural elements, this project shows the result of a highly collaborative design process where the role of each discipline is blurred to create a simultaneously bold and ethereal composition, unique to its place and time.



Photos by Nic Lehoux



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Desert House by Marmol Radziner

Desert House by Marmol Radziner

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.



© Joe Fletcher Photography



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Amangiri Resort by Marwan al Sayed Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy

Amangiri Resort by Marwan al Sayed Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy

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 Image of amangiri resort 4 corners utah architects marwan al sayed wendell burnette and rick joy0204from 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

Image of amangiri resort 4 corners utah architects marwan al sayed wendell burnette and rick joy23



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.Image of amangiri resort 4 corners utah architects marwan al sayed wendell burnette and rick joy88

Photography: Courtesy of Aman Resorts














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Tehama 1 House (2017) by Studio Schicketanz

Tehama 1 House (2017) by Studio Schicketanz

Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, United States, Tehama 1 House (2017) by Studio Schicketanz | The Hardt


Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, United States, Tehama 1 House (2017) by Studio Schicketanz. The northern central coast of California is my absolute favorite place in the world. Specifically Big Sur, but we’ll save that for another day. Studio Schicketanz organized the design of this house around a centrally cleared knoll and prioritized outdoor space, producing a deep exploration into the ways in which a structure can merge with and arise from a very specific ecological language. Textured stone walls give rise to controlled cement steps leading to a crisply modernist structure detailed with geometric framing and supporting a cantilevered roof that offers a shaded penumbra around the entirety of the structure. Light is at play everywhere, from the dappled light that hits the stone wall to the reflection of the majestic neighboring tree in the house’s expansive glass facade On the interior, neutral tones from the reclaimed teak flooring and a fir ceiling work with the couple’s art collection and pops of luxurious detail like an antique dresser and a smooth round tub to offer a consistent feeling of an evocatively natural aesthetic. Indoor and outdoor spaces flow seamlessly together through the barest hint of doorways and enclosure; everywhere is permeated by sun and sky.




Studio Schicketanz designed the interiors to operate in effortless conversation with the exteriors; a relaxed sensibility permeates the house, offering a softness that produces a new experience of the modernism of the rest of the structure. The use of plaster reclaimed wood, and hand-hewn details speak to the history of the valley and signal the level of restorative possibilities embedded within this project. The house is part of Clint Eastwood’s coveted Carmel development called Tehama. It’s also part of Schicketanz’s career-long investigation into the relationship between landscape, building materials, form, and nature. Sleek plaster cubes are settled around a courtyard, offering a different material texture from the slick glass exterior of the main living space; views over the mountain range come into conversation with the carefully-considered details. The look is part rustic, part modern, all deeply-felt architecture.



© Joe Fletcher



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