Text description provided by the architects. This project is a renovation and addition to a custom-built home built in 1954 at the base of San Jacinto Mountain in Palm Springs, California. The original layout, post-and- beam construction, wall of custom wooden windows and unique architectural detailing are reminiscent of Cliff May’s iconic Rancho homes, yet the original architect is unknown.
The primary goal with the program was to maintain the unique character of the original structure while upgrading the home to be more energy efficient, spacious and functional. Square footage was more than doubled, but the street presence was kept minimal. The new L-shaped footprint wraps around an entry courtyard and was inspired by classic ranch homes of the Southwest. A new pool and patio off the main living area as well as private outdoor spaces off each bedroom create a uniquely Californian experience.
The original siting of the house fully considered the desert sun, keeping the main living area and window wall in shade for most of the day with deep eaves and a Northwest exposure. The addition extrapolates on the thoughtful siting and fully considers the home’s desert location.
The material palette is inspired by the desert – raw, harsh, but minimal. Rusted steel fencing and courtyard walls compliment a crisp sand-colored stucco, while the dark wood windows mirror the rust and add warmth and sophistication.