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Desert House / Circle West Architects

  • Architects: Circle West Architects
  • Location: 4812 East Berneil Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
  • Architect: Circle West Architects
  • Project Team: Peter M. Koliopoulos AIA
  • Structural Engineer: BDA Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineer: Tiglas Engineering Assoc.
  • Electrical Engineer: CR Engineers
  • Landscape Architect: Arcadiascape, LLC
  • General Contractor: Urban Edge Builders
  • Area: 5000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Courtesy of circle west architects

Courtesy of  circle west architects Courtesy of  circle west architects Courtesy of  circle west architects Courtesy of  circle west architects

From the architect. Articulating defined spaces in retrofitting a 20-year-old residence through a punctuation of natural daylight, exterior spatial relationships and a reduction in use of finishes. Desert House is a modern, sustainable intervention in the desert. The single-family residence renovation represents a forward thinking approach to desert life.

Courtesy of  circle west architects
Courtesy of circle west architects

The one-acre site is within a single-family residential neighborhood, surrounded by textured desert mountains to the south, west, and northeast. The pure structure cuts a clean sharp edge through the revegetative desert landscape.

Courtesy of  circle west architects
Courtesy of circle west architects

The newly added program focus in the renewed design is to perforate the original frame of the existing home to allow a vibrant, natural daylighting experience. A large overhang on the South façade screens the plane of glass from the harsh summer sun, while allowing winter light to wash the interior walls. The east elevation is shaded by mature vegetation, while the west face of the residence has limited, strategically placed openings protected with large overhangs. Views to the surrounding mountains and desert sky naturally radiate through the home. The additive program refines the circulation experience and relationships between uses for a spontaneous and organic residential experience.

Courtesy of  circle west architects
Courtesy of circle west architects

The concrete and stucco structure of the original house remains in tact minimizing material required to be sent to the landfill. A large percentage of the construction and building materials are high recycled content such as the glass, zinc siding, and concrete flooring. New high-efficiency HVAC units are utilized to condition the added space.

Plan
Plan

All foreign landscaping and turf has been replaced with native plantings with very low water requirements. The one-acre parcel has been regraded to capture the entire roof and site rainwater, reducing the total amount of stormwater required to be treated by the municipality while naturally supplementing the vegetations needs.

Courtesy of  circle west architects
Courtesy of circle west architects

The layering of elements from the natural “filtering” of the desert landscape, to the exterior materials of zinc metal siding and glass sets a dramatic relationship of a refreshing living experience.

Courtesy of  circle west architects
Courtesy of circle west architects
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Desert House / Circle West Architects" 04 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/131139/desert-house-circle-west-architects/>