Buildings in the desert

An overview of projects, products and exclusive articles about buildings in the desert
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Project • By assemblageSTUDIOOffices

Acero Dental Office

The building houses two independant  dental facilites on seperate levels. The second level, occupied by the building owner, provides several exam rooms, restrooms, reception lobby, waiting lounge, equipment room, storage rooms, employee lounge, a priate outdoor gathering deck, and a private office.  The project is located within a heavily used arterial street in Henderson, NV. Surrounding office complexes are primarily medical, with a hospital in the immediate vicinity. Adjacent to the site is a fire station to serve the businesses. The site provides a distant view to the Las Vegas Strip and into the Black Mountains.  Sited prominently at the intersection, the faceted second level becomes the sign of the business. Differing... More

Project • By PLAT ASIAHotels

xiangshawan desert lotus hotel

Lotus Resort is located in Xiangshawan Desert, a part of Kubuqi Desert. Due to the restriction by its special geographic, we invented a new structural system that fix in fluid sands using only steel panels without the help of concrete or water. The panels and the supporting skeleton structures are pre-fabricated, and make the base of the building a large container for sands. Thus, the steel panel structure can function as a boat floating on desert that carries our building. The sands in and out of the structure exert same forces to each other, and thus it is flexibly stabilized. Also, walls are load-bearing structures in order to reduce the pressure on base. Moreover, we use materials from desert in interior design so that people get full... More

Project • By Chen + Suchart StudioPrivate Houses

DILLON RESIDENCE

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-sha... More

Project • By Chen + Suchart StudioPrivate Houses

Yerger Residence

This site for this project has one main view to the east towards Camelback Mountain. The intent of the project was to focus the views towards the iconic landmark to capture it and have it constantly presenced in the experience of the house while creating other introspective moments of experience. The project takes the form of an architectural cast-in-place concrete base upon which a floating sheet steel clad open-ended volume and an 8-4-16 masonry volume are situated. An entry sequence leading from the street, along a koi pond, into the entry, and to a negative edge pool distinguish the main public spaces and master suite while offering a place of repose. The main living space of the house maintains an open plan configuration and... More

Project • By Chen + Suchart StudioPrivate Houses

Mummy Mountain Residence

The project proposes an architecture that responds to the inherent qualities of the site, privileged views, and the larger context of the Sonoran Desert. The language of the house draws upon these inherencies and allows for a greater understanding of the project’s circumstances. A series of parallel sandblasted concrete block walls (CMU) are configured in a way that allows the landscape and the views to flow freely through the spaces. These CMU walls orient the spaces to the undisturbed views of Pinnacle Peak, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, and the Superstition Mountains, while controlled openings within the CMU walls capture characteristics of the immediate site and landscape, specific views of the mountains beyond, and the deser... More

Project • By Chen + Suchart StudioPrivate Houses

Sosnowski Residence

Sited in a 1950's era dense neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona, the Sosnowski Residence takes the form of a courtyard house defined by three sandblasted 8-8-16 standard gray CMU walls at the main level and an exposed Virendeel truss at the upper level that ultimately characterizes the project. The main level’s CMU walls define the major public spaces of the project, which include an outdoor courtyard, living room, dining room, kitchen, and koi garden. The public spaces are also flanked by the garage and guest bedrooms, in turn providing additional privacy from the street and the neighbors. The outdoor spaces maintain an open relationship to the residence by means of two 30’ wide expanses of operable sliding glass doors. The master suite re... More

Project • By Weddle Gilmore Black Rock StudioPrivate Houses

The Gateway To The Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve

The design of the Gateway has been developed in an effort to minimize impact on the native Sonoran Desert environment while celebrating a sense of entry and passage into the 36,400 acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS & UNIQUE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS PRESERVATION OR ENHANCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: Preservation of native desert habitat is one of the most important environmental issues we face with continued growth and expansion of the Phoenix Metro area. Preserving nearby open space, and providing easy access and connectivity were guiding principles in the design and development of the Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. From the Gateway, hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians can access a network of over 45... More

Project • By Allegretti ArchitectsPrivate Houses

Desert Shadow

Designed by Allegretrti Architects, Desert Shadow is a 2,100 square-foot custom home nearing completion near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The home is carved into a gentle hillside at a remote 40-acre property just a few miles from the historic Turquoise Trail. One hundred percent of the structure’s energy needs will be supplied by off-grid methods. Primary among these methods is an array of photovoltaic panels providing 5 KW of power. These panels are connected to a bank of very large capacity batteries. Extreme efficiency in electrical design and the owner’s highly conscious lifestyle allow this system to supply all of the home’s electrical needs. Other sustainable features will include passive solar space heating, rainwater harvesting, p... More

Project • By Douglas Fredrikson ArchitectsCommunity Centres

Norterra

Nestled at the foot of a desert mountainside, this Community Center becomes a centerpiece and beacon for a high production builder community. The dominating curved roof over the Lobby/Sales Area provides a striking silhouette and creates a strong accent to low soaring cantilevered roofs flanking each side. Initially acting as the Sales Center for the development, it also will function simultaneously as the Fitness center, Child Care and Spa for the residents. The Sales Office will become Banquet Hall and the Lobby/Sales Area a Great Room as build out occurs. Entering the building from a lower level to a large bouldered waterfall, quests will ascend a dramatic stair that opens up to the two story volume above. Little peeks are given into... More

Project • By Foster + PartnersAirports

Spaceport America

Located in the desert-like landscape of New Mexico, Spaceport will be the first building of its kind in the world. Its design aims to articulate the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists while making a minimal impact on the environment. Viewed from space, the terminal evokes Virgin Galactic’s brand logo of the eye, and is suggestive of an elongated pupil, with the apron completing the iris. Approached from the historic El Camino Real trail, the terminal’s organic form appears as a subtle rise in the landscape. Organised into a highly efficient and rational plan, Spaceport has been designed to relate to the dimensions of the spacecraft. There is also a careful balance between accessibility and privacy. The astronauts’ areas... More

Project • By Panic Button MediaApartments

Whitehorse

“Right sized”, a home less than 1,000 square feet. The most sustainable building resource on the Navajo Reservation is earth. Hence, the idea to build a “rocket stove”, which burns kindling size pieces of wood, provides a heating “stove’ atop a 55 gallon barrel in line with the 20 feet of flue which heats a “cob” bench, which in turn thermally heats the home. Moreover, the idea has proven to be the primary heating source for the entire home, nearly rendering unnecessary the in-floor radiant heating, which itself begins with vertically-oriented solar hot water panels that provide the south wall of a shed harboring the hot water reservoirs. So, mere kindling the size of wood shims provide the family of five comfort during the brutally cold hi... More

Project • By HK AssociatesApartments

Finger Rock House

Located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountain range, the Finger Rock residence is named for its view of one of Tucson’s most prominent natural landmarks. The concept and layout of the house are a direct response to its desert setting and panoramic views. The Living Room, Kitchen and Dining Room occupy the second floor and are connected to terraces that offer vistas of the north, south and east horizons, while a narrow horizontal window on the west façade captures evening sunsets. The Master and Guest Bedrooms, as well as a Gym and Office are located at ground level, offering intimate views and a direct connection to the desert floor. The structure of the house reinforces this conceptual order, with the airy glass and stee... More

Project • By Line and Space LLCVisitor Center

Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center

Intended to introduce up to 1 million visitors a year to the wonders of Red Rock Canyon, the new Interpretive Facility differs from traditional visitor centers by emphasizing the specific attributes of Red Rock Canyon itself, in lieu of pseudo-natural imitations. The concept here is to introduce the visitor to the relevant science, art and culture that will enhance their experience in Red Rock Canyon; and then strongly encourage them to visit the nearby real thing. The Visitor Center responds to environment - transition zones alleviate shock to users’ senses. Controlling exposure to the sun provides shaded, cooler microclimates for outdoor exhibits and activities. Like the desert tortoise burrowing to regulate its body temperature, eart... More

Project • By Symbiosis Designs Ltd.Offices

GATEWAY to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

PROJECT INTRODUCTION: The design of the Gateway has been developed in an effort to minimize impact on the native Sonoran Desert environment while celebrating a sense of entry and passage into the 36,400 acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS & UNIQUE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS PRESERVATION OR ENHANCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: Preservation of native desert habitat is one of the most important environmental issues we face with continued growth and expansion of the Phoenix Metro area. Preserving nearby open space, and providing easy access and connectivity were guiding principles in the design and development of the Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. From the Gateway, hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians... More

Project • By Secrest ArchitectureHousing

Silvertree Residence

The Silvertree residence is a study in how a small, dated, closed in and inwardly focused residence can be revived into an inspiring modern space that interacts with the outdoors. The wonderful climate of the Sonoran desert, and the opportunity for indoor-outdoor living, was ignored in the previous floor plan of this vaguely Mediterranean 1970s home. A nicely scaled rear terrace with great desert, mountain and partial city views was nearly inaccessible in the floor plan of the existing house. The user had to either go through the existing garage or through the master bedroom to access the rear patio. A new multi-functional space, and a remodeled kitchen and dining room, all revolve around a new three-sided fireplace. The fireplace is at th... More