Text description provided by the architects. This collaboration between Jim Jennings Architecture, LINEOFFICE Architecture and Martha Angus transforms a simple structural system into an elegant 3,000 SF getaway in the California desert. The structure was pioneered by Blue-Sky Building systems and utilizes factory fabricated steel components to create a bolted moment-resistive frame. The benefit of the frame is twofold: it increases the speed of construction and removes the need for lateral force resisting shear walls. This provides a great deal of design flexibility in the earthquake prone Coachella Valley.
Local planning codes limited this house on a corner lot to a single story. The client requested privacy from the street and an open rear yard. The plan answers these challenges by organizing the living spaces in relatively thin ‘bars’ along the two street side property lines. A singular concrete block wall rings the site and seamlessly transitions from building wall to privacy ‘fence’ depending on its location. At the building the wall extends to a few feet above eye-level but does not continue to the underside of the roof. This allows clerestory light in to the home at all sides but maintains privacy from the street.
The other walls of the house (inside of the perimeter wall) are shielded from the street and completely open. Here large roof overhangs shade the floor to ceiling glazed windows and doors to allow light but protect from glare and excessive heat gain. From the main living areas the San Jacinto mountain range rising over 10,000 feet from the desert floor to the west is framed by the concrete block wall on the bottom and the roof overhang on the top.