A Dramatic Floating Roof Crowns This Rammed-Earth Home in Arizona
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A Dramatic Floating Roof Crowns This Rammed-Earth Home in Arizona

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By Kathryn McLamb
With an angular roof canopy that glows with the sun and striated, rammed-earth walls, Dancing Light House delights in its desert locale.

Designed by award-winning firm Kendle Design Collaborative, the poetically named Dancing Light House in Paradise Valley, Arizona, celebrates its desert landscape. The home features striking, geometric shapes that mirror the surrounding mountains, with nature providing the main foundation for the house's aesthetic and distinct character.

Layered, rammed-earth walls link Dancing Light House to its desert landscape.

Layered, rammed-earth walls link Dancing Light House to its desert landscape.

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Its 5,600 square feet span a single story; with various outdoor living areas integrated throughout, the dwelling comprises separate, yet related, structures.

The wood boards lining the canopy's underside appear to glow in the desert sun. Its tectonic-like shapes reference both the local geology and monsoon cloud formations.

The wood boards lining the canopy's underside appear to glow in the desert sun. Its tectonic-like shapes reference both the local geology and monsoon cloud formations.

The signature feature of the residence is its commanding floating roof canopy, which lends an impressive, sculptural accent to the design. With an underside comprised of tectonic-like forms, the dramatic pointed roofs protect the residence from the elements while appearing as a beautiful sculpture, balancing the owner’s desire for both elegance and coziness. 

To keep the focus on the canopy's form and natural materials, the team designed concealed lighting and mechanical systems.

To keep the focus on the canopy's form and natural materials, the team designed concealed lighting and mechanical systems.

Starting low within the interior living spaces, the canopy gracefully rises toward the 180-degree views of Camelback Mountain beyond.

Starting low within the interior living spaces, the canopy gracefully rises toward the 180-degree views of Camelback Mountain beyond.

Apart from the local topography, the residence also draws inspiration from natural light, which seeps in via carefully articulated crevices.

Apart from the local topography, the residence also draws inspiration from natural light, which seeps in via carefully articulated crevices.

The kitchen features a warm, neutral color palette, similar to its dessert surroundings.

The kitchen features a warm, neutral color palette, similar to its dessert surroundings.

The home's interior spaces are arranged around a central outdoor atrium, allowing fresh breezes and warm daylight to provide natural comfort inside.

The home's interior spaces are arranged around a central outdoor atrium, allowing fresh breezes and warm daylight to provide natural comfort inside.

Inside, rammed-earth walls and cast-in-situ concrete are left exposed, strengthening the home's relationship to nature. 

Inside, rammed-earth walls and cast-in-situ concrete are left exposed, strengthening the home's relationship to nature. 

A bedroom features floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing the space to capture plenty of sunlight.

A bedroom features floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing the space to capture plenty of sunlight.

In contrast to the rustic feel brought forth via rammed-earth walls, other materials such as metal, glass, and steel add an industrial touch.  

In contrast to the rustic feel brought forth via rammed-earth walls, other materials such as metal, glass, and steel add an industrial touch.  

A floor-to-ceiling window in the bathroom frames mesmerizing mountain views.

A floor-to-ceiling window in the bathroom frames mesmerizing mountain views.

A corner reading nook offers an idyllic spot for relaxation.

A corner reading nook offers an idyllic spot for relaxation.

Reflecting off the swimming pool surface, the light creates dynamic compositions on the fractured wall planes, while also changing the tones of the living spaces throughout the day.

Reflecting off the swimming pool surface, the light creates dynamic compositions on the fractured wall planes, while also changing the tones of the living spaces throughout the day.

Related Reading: Rammed Earth Walls Tie This Eco-Friendly Home to the Desert

Project Credits: 

Architect: Kendle Design Collaborative / @kendledesign

Builder: Desert Star Construction

Structural Engineer: PH Structural

Civil Engineer: Gookin Engineers

Landscape Design: GBtwo Landscape Architecture, Inc.

Lighting Design: Creative Designs in Lighting

Interior Design: David Michael Miller

Cabinetry Design: Bulthaup

Cabinets & Doors: Wood Design Studios

Photography: Alexander Vertikoff  / @vertikoff_photography