From desert modern to adobe vernacular, the American Southwest is home to some of the country's most innovative architecture. Here are a few of our favorite homes from the region.
Eight miles outside Salt Lake City, on the scenic edge of Emigration Canyon, two California natives erected Utah's first LEED for Homes-rated house. The compact family home is as scaled small as the local review board permits. Its petite imprint helped minimize excavation and preserve native oaks.
In the land of large mountain lodge wannabes, two California natives tuck Utah’s first LEED for Homes–rated house onto the side of Emigration Canyon. Photo by Dustin Aksland
Inside a converted grain silo in Phoenix, architect Christoph Kaiser crafted a curved interior that matches the structure's circular footprint. From the cabinets to the sofa, everything had to be custom-made to fit the space. The Eames Wire Chairs are the sole exception.
Inside, Kaiser crafted a curved interior that matches the silo's circular footprint. "I didn’t want to cheat and do a box inside a curved shell," he says. "I wanted it to feel like the inside and outside were born of the same mentality." Scrap walnut plank flooring purchased on Craigslist for $350 accounted for most of the interior wood. It's paired with black steel touches. Everything in this room is custom—Kaiser designed the curved-faced cabinets, the dining table, the sofa, and the lamp that has hooks for pots and pans. The countertops are Corian. The Eames Wire Chairs are one of the only non-custom elements.
Also in Phoenix, this renovated 1927 bungalow kept its historic bones while receiving a necessary update. The brick walls and tongue-and-groove wood ceiling were left unaltered, while the white oak flooring was refinished with a walnut stain.
In the living room, Busick left the original brick walls and tongue-and-groove wood ceiling exposed, while he refinished the white oak flooring with a walnut stain. “We edited the newer renovations to the historic home down to the fundamental elements,” he explains. A gray Delos Sofa by Control Brand sits cozily in front of a window.
In Las Vegas, a city where spectacle is everything, even the prefabs are larger-than-life. At the picturesque desert home of a casino executive, a pyramidal Skyspace structure invites visitors in for a chance to view the heavens through a ceiling cutout.
Near the main house, James Turrell’s pyramidal Skyspace structure invites visitors into its dark recess for a chance to view the heavens through a perspective-altering cutout. Most of Murren’s museum-quality art collection is inside the house, including a Robert Rauschenberg piece, a set of Andy Warhol prints, and a hologram by Turrell.
An eco-friendly update on regional vernacular, studio eM Design’s rammed-earth home in Corrales, New Mexico benefits from adobe's thermal properties as well as modern green strategies, such as a system of gutters that uses roof runoff to water the grass around the home.
One major directive was to “honor the tree,” referring to a particular 85-year-old cottonwood on the property. Photo by: Kirk Gittings