This house provides a new model for ecological architecture. Inspired by its high desert site, the house is mostly embedded below the existing topography of the native landscape. The ground itself provides protection against the harsh desert landscape—inextricably linking site and dwelling. Where the house emerges from the ground, a two-foot-thick perimeter envelope extends this thermal protection. Combined with high-performance glass, the result is a building which maintains a comfortable living temperature in an extreme environment using only radiant heating and cooling. Outside, the landscape is populated exclusively by local native plants: grasses, desert scrub, and wildflowers. This xeriscape flows around and on top of the house, providing habitats for native species typically eradicated by human development.
Rather than opposing the natural site with a Cartesian solution, the project’s architectural language mirrors the differential complexity of nature. Formally, both house and site are rendered as a single planar mesh. Every edge is entirely shared, with no edges terminating in the middle of another edge. This results in a flow of space that supports extreme difference without discontinuities. Elements of house and site slide into each other with shifting relationships of fractured symmetries, local axes, and embedded parallelisms. Topologically, the house is spatially slippery—a twisted torus with several secondary and tertiary bubbles of space. The geometry feels relaxed and flexible, more like a landscape than a building. The result is a home which is both sustainable and formally integrated with its extreme site.