The huge Arizona desert is not the friendliest of places to live in but when architecture is adapted to suit this type of terrain we end up looking at some really interesting and beautiful structures. One of them is this beautiful contemporary residence from Paradise Valley. It was a project completed in 2017 by architecture and design studio Optima DCHGlobal. What sets it apart from other similar structures is the fact it wasn’t designed in a typical way and it doesn’t use the regular construction materials. For starters, it features a structure made entirely of Corten steel.
The Corten steel is a material chosen for its sustainability but in this case also for its distinctive aesthetic. The weathered look and rusty coloring helps it to blend in beautifully with the desert landscape which in turn allows the house to fit wonderfully within its natural context. The perforated roof panels form large overhangs around the house, creating a series of covered outdoor spaces that help to blur the distinction between the inside and the outside. In a way, this makes the desert landscape quite enticing and alluring.
The house sits on a large raised plinth made of concrete which is 16” above the ground level. This allows for a level and completely flat floor plan and a linear distribution of all the rooms. The floor plan also has a modular structure, being designed in a 7′ x 7′ system of volumes with a series of support columns evenly spread throughout the house. The contrast between the Corten steel and the polished concrete is quite obvious and the expansive glass envelope of the building acts as a transitional surface between them. Its role is of course also to let in lore of natural light and to expose the interior to the beautiful surroundings. For the interior, the designers used lots of natural wood and warm accent colors in order to create a welcoming ambiance which compliments the exterior.
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