This undertaking began with an e-mail and a meeting in fall of 2008 for a home in Yucca Valley, which is located close to Palm Springs, east of Los Angeles in the high desert near the Joshua Tree National Park.
We had finished 2 tasks in Yucca Valley and occasionally received inquiries about tasks in the desert. In the midst of the financial downturn usually these inquiring led nowhere. We had just had our second little one and factors had been hunting rather uncertain. We determined to meet with Marc and Michele Atlan to see if their undertaking was a reality. Even from the very first communications, Marc’s enthusiasm was obvious.
Right after the first meeting, we identified that we shared a typical aesthetic and approach and after seeing the residence we knew this was a venture like absolutely nothing else we had completed, truly virtually a when in a lifetime opportunity. There was no searching back, we immediately began work on the house.
Past the technical and regulatory issues of creating on the web site- numerous preceding owners had experimented with and provided up– there was the challenge of how to build appropriately on such a sublime and pristine web site. It is akin to developing a residence in a all-natural cathedral.
Our consumer had given us a quick but compelling instruction at the begin of the procedure- to build a home like a shadow. This had a quite specific relevance to the desert spot exactly where the sunlight is often so brilliant that the eye’s only resting spot is the shadows.
Unfortunately, the website had been graded in the 1960′s when the region was 1st subdivided for improvement. A tiny flat pad had been developed by flattening a number of rock outcroppings and filing in a saddle amongst the outcroppings. To try to reverse this scar would have been cost prohibitive and in the end impossible. It would be a additional challenge to consider to address this in the layout of the new property. The residence would be positioned on a precipice with virtually 360 degree views to the horizon and a massive boulder blocking views back to the road.
A prolonged method of research started with the consumers displaying us photographs of houses they identified intriguing- mostly modern houses that showed a far more aggressive formal and spatial language than the mid-century present day residences that have turn into the de-facto fashion of the desert southwest.
We looked back at precedents for how architects have dealt with homes positioned in related topography and found that typically they either sought to integrate the created function into the landscape, as in the function of Frank Lloyd Wright and later Rudolf Shindler or to hold the architecture aloof from the landscape as in the European modernist tradition of Mies van der Rohe. While on a completely virgin web site, the lightly treading minimalist method would be preferred, here we determined that the Western American tradition of Land Art would serve as a far better starting up point, marrying the 2 tendencies in a tense romantic relationship with the residence clawing the ground for acquire whilst keeping its otherness.
The property would replace the missing mountain that was scraped away, but not as a mountain, but a shadow or negative of the rock what was identified once the rock was eliminated, a challenging glinting obsidian shard.
Concept in place, we began fleshing out the spaces and motion by way of the home. We needed the experience of navigating the house to remind 1 of traversing the site outdoors. The rooms are organized in a linear sequence from living room to bedrooms with the kitchen and dining in the middle, all wrapping about a inner courtyard which adds a vital intermediate space in the entry sequence and a protected exterior room in the harsh climate.
The living area was summed up succinctly by Marc as a chic sleeping bag. The space, recessed into the hillside with a solid earthen wall to lean your back against as you survey the horizon is a literal campsite which finds its precedent in the native cliff dwellings of the Southwest.
The dark colour of the home interior adds to the primordial cave-like feeling. In the course of the day, the interior of the property recedes and the views are more pronounced. At evening the residence entirely dematerializes and the muted lighting and stars outside blend to form an infinite backdrop for contemplation.
The project would by no means have come about with out the continued efforts of the complete team. The layout was a collaborative work between Marc and Michele and the architects. The patience and dedication of the builder, Avian Rogers and her subcontractors was essential to the achievement of the project. Everybody who worked on the project knew it was anything out of the ordinary and put forth incredible hard work to see it completed.
Architect: Oller & Pejic Architecture
Interior Style: Marc Atlan Design, Inc.
Contractor: Moderne Builders