Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a modern home? A home where the line between inside and out is so blurred that nature sometimes comes crawling into your room. Are you afraid modern architecture is only for childless Avant guard art collectors who wear black turtleneck sweaters even in summer? Then take a moment to watch this Desert Wash video and see modern living through a child’s eye. It will change your perspective about what site sensitive modern architecture can be.
Desert Wash is a unique modern home designed to celebrate nature and desert living. A home that turns an unwelcome obstacle for traditional residential design, a desert wash which periodically floods throughout the year, into a focal feature of natural beauty that delights and inspires a young energetic family teaching life lessons everyday about living as one with nature.
Watch as your two adorable hosts, ages 3 and 5, take you on a tour of their home, introducing you to new and wonderful creatures including the elusive Desert Tiger and Road Rumber. See how rammed earth walls, expansive glass and floating steel and wood clad roofs shelter a family in modern beauty and provide the perfect backdrop for their extensive collection of art and Asian artifacts. But mostly see how much fun everyday living in the desert, amongst natures ever changing wonder, can be.
Architect’s Statement: A jagged wash bisecting the property is the site’s defining topographical feature and point of departure for the design as it provides a unique inspiration for the arrangement of the architectural elements and exterior spaces.
The project is characterized as discrete rectilinear forms tumbling across the site as if they’d floated down the flooded wash like driftwood during the spring’s Monsoon storm and remained stranded on its edge by the receding waters. The three primary building components strung together along the wash are physically connected with bridges, hovering roof forms and stone walks.
The rammed earth walls and oxidized steel privacy panels bordering the property create a secluded residence that’s rests lightly on the site. Horizontal planes edged in soft gray metal float above walls of earth and glass creating a lightness and dramatic juxtaposition that plays off the rooted, sedimentary rammed earth fins protruding upward from the arid site.
Light spills inward at the gap between the walls and drifting roof planes animating ethereal shadows across the stone floor.