Rammed Earth Walls Tie This Eco-Friendly Home to the Desert
When Keith and Becky began planning for their new family home on a lot in Paradise Valley, they worried that the desert wash bisecting the site would severely hamper their design vision.
But once the couple turned to architect Brent Kendle of Kendle Design Collaborative, they were quickly assured that the desert biome would be treated as a desired asset, rather than a stumbling block.
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Keeping his clients’ desires for a contemporary residence with minimal site impact in mind, Brent designed the 6,700-square-foot Desert Wash home in three parts.
The entrance, along with the guest suite and office, are located on the southern end of the site in a compact volume. This area is connected to the bulk of the house to the north via an enclosed bridge elevated over the wash, which periodically floods throughout the year.
To tie the unique home into the landscape, Brent relied on rammed earth walls, a neutral color palette, and expansive glazing that blurs the line between the indoors and out.
"Throughout the home, you experience the site-sensitivity of the project through its unique palette and how the residence respects the natural qualities of the site," he explains. "The home nestles itself into the earth, while also respecting the natural topography of the site by spanning over the ancient wash."
Turning the wash into a focal point not only "sets us right in nature," says Keith in a video, but it has also created a "freeway" for local wildlife and an endless source of entertainment with educational opportunities for the couple’s two young children.