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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

* Residential Architecture: Tucson Mountain Retreat by DUST

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 12 May 2013

Tucson Mountain Retreat by DUST

Residential Architecture: Tucson Mountain Retreat by DUST: “..The Tucson Mountain Retreat is located within the Sonoran Desert (Tucson, Arizona, USA); an extremely lush, exposed, arid expanse of land that emits a sense of stillness and permanency, and holds mysteries of magical proportions.  The home is carefully sited in response to the adjacent arroyos, rock out-croppings, ancient cacti, animal migration paths, air movement, sun exposure and views.  Great effort was invested to minimize the physical impact of the home in such a fragile environment, while at the same time attempting to create a place that would serve as a backdrop to life and strengthen the sacred connections to the awe-inspiring mystical landscape..Intentionally isolating the parking over 400 feet from the house, one must traverse and engage the desert by walking along a narrow footpath toward the house, passing through a dense clustered area of cacti and Palo Verde that obscure direct views of the home  Upon each progressive footstep, the house slowly reveals itself, rising out of the ground. The entry sequence, a series of playfully engaging concrete steps, dissolves into the desert. As one ascends, each step offers an alternative decision and a new adventure. Through this process, movement slows and senses are stimulated, leaving the rush of city life behind.  The home is primarily made of Rammed Earth, a material that uses widely available soil, provides desirable thermal mass and has virtually no adverse environmental side effects. Historically vernacular to arid regions, it fits well within the Sonoran Desert, while at the same time it embodies inherent poetic qualities that engage the visual, tactile and auditory senses of all who experience it..The program of the home is divided into three distinct and isolated zones; living, sleeping, and music recording/home entertainment.  Each zone must be accessed by leaving the occupied zone, stepping outside, and entering a different space.  This separation resolves the clients’ desired acoustic separation while at the same time, offers a unique opportunity to continuously experience the raw desert landscape..Rooted in the desert, where water is always scarce, the design incorporates a generous 30,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system with an advanced filtration system that makes our most precious resource available for all household uses..”  Lovely site; extensive glazing, natural light, views; interesting form, materiality; contextual sensibility..

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image: © Jeff Goldberg/Esto; article: “Tucson Mountain Retreat / DUST” 08 May 2013. ArchDaily

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* Residential Architecture: Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette Architects

Posted by the editors on Monday, 8 April 2013

Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette Architects

Residential Architecture: Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette Architects: “..Two volumes of light – one warm and one cool – one projected to the expansive horizon and one toward the canopy of the desert sky. Inspired by John Van Dyke’s ruminations on the phenomena of desert light, specifically “colored air” and “reflected light” in his 1901 book titled The Desert – Further Studies in Natural Appearances, the 2200 square foot Dialogue House is a gestalt instrument for touching the full range and specificity of this light, this “place”- day and night, season to season and year to year..At the base of Echo Mountain (amidst an eclectic jumble of 1950′s-60′s ranch bungalows), the main living volume is elevated above work, guest, and the car, furthest from the street on a lateral pinwheel brace of charcoal masonry walls that extend cardinally capturing the site. This well-shaded volume is projected south toward the South Mountain and Sierra Estrella mountain ranges far across the Phoenix, Arizona, USA, basin and downtown skyline..The exterior surfaces of the pinwheel walls as well as the main volume absorb and reflect light akin to the “desert varnish” that coats the volcanic geology of the Phoenix Mountains turning silver, red, purple-brown-black during the day only to collapse into silhouettes at night. Thus, “life after work” is simultaneously supported by the apparent thickness and thinness of light..The interior of the street volume is plastered cool white, half terrace – half cool water as a retreat from the city within the city where one can only see sky. Wind and water activated light is refracted onto the interior surfaces by day and most dramatically at night, which provides an animated foreground to the skyline and distant horizon beyond..Begun many years ago, the Dialogue House has an interesting history and was finally completed in April of 2012..”  Extensive glazing, natural light, views; indoor / outdoor sensibility; interesting form, contextuality, interior details and decoration..

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image: © Bill Timmerman; article: “Dialogue House / Wendell Burnette Architects” 06 Apr 2013. ArchDaily

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* Architecture: ‘The Artistic and the Beautiful’: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wide-Ranging Views (audio interview)

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Architecture: ‘The Artistic and the Beautiful’: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wide-Ranging Views (audio interview): “..In 1957, two years before his death, Frank Lloyd Wright sat down with WNYC (ndlr: radio) to discuss his design philosophy, exhibiting his trademark eloquence and blistering opinions. The year of this interview marks an explosion of commissions for Wright, who by then had been practicing architecture for 70 years..

Wright mainly designed homes until 1957-58, when he took on 90 new projects, many for public buildings. Over all, Wright’s last decade was his most prolific, accounting for nearly one-third of his oeuvre. This interview was recorded in his Plaza Hotel apartment where he’d moved two years earlier in order to oversee construction of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, on which he had been working for 14 years. Here, Wright neatly dismisses the project’s many critics, promising “…a new point of view…it’s going to be so enlivening and refreshing that it will make some of these painters quite ashamed of the protest that they issued against it.”

In this interview, Wright also expresses distaste for the nascent designs of Sydney Opera House, as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy structure, whose designers he lambasts as “Poetry Crushers with a capital P.” The Academy’s use of an advisory committee of architects prompts Wright to remark that “an architect is either an inspiration or…he’s merely a committee-mind…a liability.”

Asked whether he’s acquainted with New York’s planned Lincoln Center complex, Wright remarks, “I think it wouldn’t do me any good to become acquainted with it. I suggest the other way around: they become…acquainted with the ones that I’m doing.”

Two notable influences on the young Wright were his itinerant childhood (his father was a traveling minister), and years spent on his uncle’s Wisconsin farm where he “learned…the region in every line and feature…the modeling of the hills, the weaving and fabric that clings to them, the look of it all in tender green or covered with snow or in full glow of summer.” His mother, a school teacher, enhanced his understanding of structure by giving him a set of newly invented blocks developed by revolutionary German educator Friedrich Fröbel whose theories laid the foundations for modern education.

Beyond architecture, Wright is also noted as a singularly influential and innovative urban planner, interior designer, architectural writer, and educator. He is noted for his often prescient, sometimes embattled philosophical and social views, a range well displayed in this broadcast, when in the middle of describing his new designs for homes with children’s playrooms, he can’t help but point out that “the American family should be three, not four…and above that, heavily taxed, more and more as they increase in number.” (Wright fathered seven children.)..

Recognized by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time,” Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wis., and went on to design 1,141 structures — including houses, offices, churches, clinics, schools, libraries, bridges, and museums — 532 of which were built. Today, 409 are still standing, nearly one-third of them listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wright died in 1959, six months before the Guggenheim opened.

Asked what architects could do to help build “a better society and civilization,” Wright slips into an uncharacteristically heartfelt tone, suggesting they “study nature, seriously, intelligently, and with feeling, and appreciation.” He also warns that if New York City doesn’t acquire more green space immediately, it will be “uninhabitable.”

At least four of Wright’s descendants became architects, one of whom, his son John Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs. Other descendants include an architecture professor, two interior designers, a master woodworker, and the actress Anne Baxter, who is Wright’s granddaughter..”  Fascinating…

image: © 2009 The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; article: Charis Conn, WNYC, NEH

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* Residential Architecture: Dillon Residence by Chen + Suchart Studio LLC

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Residential Architecture: Dillon Residence by Chen + Suchart Studio LLC: “..The Dillon Residence takes the form of a courtyard house typology. It is a remodel and addition to an existing home situated in a 1950’s and 1960’s neighborhood comprised of one-acre horse properties..The original L-shaped form was retained for the main house while a new separate Master Suite volume envelops a newly defined courtyard anchored by a pool on one end. This courtyard serves to promote the outdoors as part of the clients’ daily life. The language of the house takes on a modern language while retaining some of the domestic qualities enjoyed by the clients. The Master Suite is configured as a separate volume and therefore is allowed to establish its own architectural identity that is free from the language of the original L-shaped portion of the house..This portion of the house has been remodeled to take on a more modern means of space-making whereby the program of the living, dining, and family room are treated as one larger space, minimally defined by a kitchen space that floats planimetrically in between..The language of rusted corrugated metal cladding of the roof at the original L-shaped portion of the house is extended to be the wall cladding at the Master Suite. A large gabion wall comprised of local Salt River rock serves as a backdrop to the courtyard space while establishing a thickened wall to afford privacy for this separate volume. The pool is treated as a destination that anchors the courtyard on its North end and can be opened to the courtyard by means of a large sliding gate..”  Interesting materiality and interior volumes; ample glazing, natural light; indoor / outdoor sensibility..

See our post on another home by Dillon Residence by Chen + Suchart Studio LLC: Residential Architecture: Sosnowski Residence by Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC.

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image: © Bill Timmerman of Timmerman Photography; article: “Dillon Residence / Chen + Suchart Studio LLC” 05 Jul 2010. ArchDaily.<http://www.archdaily.com/67259&gt;

Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Interiors, Residential Architecture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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