Floor Plan 1 Storage Unit 2 Kitchen/Dining Unit 3 Bedroom/Bath Unit 4 Deck 5 Ramp 6 Barbeque 7 Star Deck
The architecture is deeply informed by the qualities of place, responding to the color, texture, scale, and form of the terrain, and greatly amplifies its essential character. Although the individual units sit perpendicular to the contours of land, the entire composition reads as being aligned parallel with itâ€”a deliberate attempt to express the horizontality of the setting. The oxidized patina of the exterior composition further ties the project to its site. The architects fragmented the home into five functional components: a unit equipped with a washer and dryer, a water heater, a freezer, a wireless Internet router, and storage space; a unit containing the kitchen and dining area; and three units, each outfitted with a bedroom and bath. The architectural elements are linked together by a steel-grate catwalk spine connected to a small deck better known as the â€œstar viewing platform.â€? To minimize the impact of construction on the fragile desert ecology, the prefabricated units are elevated above the ground on delicate steel columns. Above each unit, thin corrugated shed roofs hover to provide shade and extend over the catwalk to effectively constitute a veranda. This unifying gesture propels the living spaces into the environment and also creates a modifying zone between the shaded units and the intense southwestern light. On the west-facing wall, aluminum sliding doors were added that open the living areas to panoramic views of desert sunsets. Cross ventilation was achieved by punching holes into the eastern face of the living units to accept small, horizontal, aluminum slider windows. Firm principal Mark Wellen, AIA, included another wonderful feature
t e x a s
a r c h i t e c t
9 / 1 0
2 0 1 0
This issue highlights the 2010 TSA Design Award winners. The eleven featured projects range from the new Lance Armstrong Foundation headquar...