This house in hot, hip Palm Springs, Calif., won an award for unbuilt projects from the Los Angeles chapter of the AIA. Sited on a hill overlooking the main shopping street, the home will blend right in with that mecca of vintage modernism.
"The design ethic responds to the desert quality, light quality, views, and vista," says Stephen Kanner, FAIA, whose firm, Kanner Architects, Los Angeles, designed the house.
Poured-in-place concrete forms, clad in travertine marble, will become wings that pierce and slide past each other. In a nod to Richard Neutra, the same paving systems go inside and out, linking interior and exterior. Deep overhangs cloak the house in cool shadows, and floor-to-ceiling glass panels on a central pivot welcome the evening and winter air. "Most people in Palm Springs keep their windows closed," Kanner says. "We tried to achieve sculptural forms rather than a wall with little window punches."
The clients, empty-nesters, didn't need more than 3,000 square feet. But the living areas have a flowing plan and flexible elements such as a room divider in the library that will rotate on wheels to open up an entire kitchen/ sitting wing when the space is needed.