By Nate Berg / Published by Dwell
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To keep the shade structure from taking flight during high winds, engineers had to make sure the supporting foundation was strong enough to withstand a 100-year windstorm.

That translated into windforces of up to 90 miles per hour, requiring 25 tons of concrete to hold it in place. Architect Lloyd Russell’s familiarity with the desert made him particularly careful in selecting appropriate materials for the house. The movable glass windows were chosen because they slide on bars rather than tracks, which would have been quick to jam from the unavoidable desert dust and sand.


Nate Berg


Nate Berg is an assistant editor at Planetizen, an urban-planning-news website. He'd never written about buildings, so he was a bit intimidated to pen a piece about the Rimrock Ranch house designed by architect Lloyd Russell in the Southern California desert. In the end, he focused on the ways in which the home reflects the ideology of owner Jim Austin as it blends into its surroundings. As for the house itself, "it sure is pretty," Berg says.

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