iT House, Joshua Tree

written by:
photos by:
February 28, 2009
Originally published in In Its Element

The iT House brings together raw industrial aesthetics with the tactics of green design to forge a new home in the sunbaked wilds of California’s east.

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  A suspended fireplace by Fire Orb provides a shared hearth for friends and family to gather around.
    A suspended fireplace by Fire Orb provides a shared hearth for friends and family to gather around.
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  The iT House is an exploration of the couple's architectural ideas, built with the help of friends over many weekends away from Los Angeles. It brings the precise and the cool together with the wild and untamed.
    The iT House is an exploration of the couple's architectural ideas, built with the help of friends over many weekends away from Los Angeles. It brings the precise and the cool together with the wild and untamed.
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  Solar panels catch the sun's energy; wide expanses of open doors and windows provide cross-ventilation; and strategic overhangs shade against the desert's endless heat.
    Solar panels catch the sun's energy; wide expanses of open doors and windows provide cross-ventilation; and strategic overhangs shade against the desert's endless heat.
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  The living space and bedrooms are separated by two small courtyards. Linda Taalman reclines in a small, inflatable wading pool in the home's "firecourt," facing south toward the desert.
    The living space and bedrooms are separated by two small courtyards. Linda Taalman reclines in a small, inflatable wading pool in the home's "firecourt," facing south toward the desert.
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  Alan Koch stands with Oleana in the north-side entry court. The tree-stump table is one of several examples of the home's raw and hand-hewn details, which offset the cool steel structure. On the glass is a graphic by artists Sarah Morris and Liam Gillick.
    Alan Koch stands with Oleana in the north-side entry court. The tree-stump table is one of several examples of the home's raw and hand-hewn details, which offset the cool steel structure. On the glass is a graphic by artists Sarah Morris and Liam Gillick.
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  All kitchen appliances, cupboards, and counters have been united in a single, self-contained island, designed in collaboration with Bulthaup. The architects wanted unfussy space and they rejected easy-access overhanging cabinets. "There's an emphasis on convenience in the world that is all about numbing things," says Alan Koch.
    All kitchen appliances, cupboards, and counters have been united in a single, self-contained island, designed in collaboration with Bulthaup. The architects wanted unfussy space and they rejected easy-access overhanging cabinets. "There's an emphasis on convenience in the world that is all about numbing things," says Alan Koch.
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  Taalman sits with their daughter, Oleana, in the living room on a metal lounge designed by Kenneth Cobonpue. Glass walls emphasize views and greatly expand the sense of space in the 1,100-square-foot house. Through the glass wall behind her is the fire court and behind that the master bedroom.
    Taalman sits with their daughter, Oleana, in the living room on a metal lounge designed by Kenneth Cobonpue. Glass walls emphasize views and greatly expand the sense of space in the 1,100-square-foot house. Through the glass wall behind her is the fire court and behind that the master bedroom.
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  Taalman bathes Oleana, with doors opened wide onto the courtyard. The bath and basin are by Duravit, the orange wall by Three Form.
    Taalman bathes Oleana, with doors opened wide onto the courtyard. The bath and basin are by Duravit, the orange wall by Three Form.
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  A view out from the entrance lobby shows Koch leaving the house. He made the stairs' steel risers himself, with the help of his cousin, Chris Wilson.
    A view out from the entrance lobby shows Koch leaving the house. He made the stairs' steel risers himself, with the help of his cousin, Chris Wilson.
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