Project NameDesert Palisades Guardhouse
Architecture PracticeStudio AR&D Architects
|Project Name||Desert Palisades Guardhouse||Location||
1111 W Racquet Club Rd
Palm Springs, CAUnited States
|Architecture Practice||Studio AR&D Architects|
Set against the rugged, sun bleached hillsides of Chino Canyon in Coachella valley, California, a few miles outside of Palm Springs, the private enclave of Desert Palisades offers modern residences stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. Designed by Los Angeles based Studio AR+D Architects, the Desert Palisades Guardhouse encapsulates the mid-century modernism of the development while creating a dynamic dialogue between the man-made and the natural elements.
Constructed out of steel that has been left to naturally rust, the rectangular geometry of the Guardhouse stands out among the organic forms of the desert landscape and yet doesn't feel out of place due to its earthy tones. This formalistic juxtaposition culminates in the spatial relationship between an expansive, ten meter cantilever that shades the entrance driveway and a massive, free-standing boulder that has been placed in its shadow. The architects have designed the cantilever in close proximity to the boulder’s tip, destined to hover above it but never touch it. It’s a conversational composition that conjoins the natural and the man-made in poetic tension.
The landscaping around the Guardhouse is peppered with larger and smaller boulders as well as a wide range of desert flora, whose rough textures beautifully frame the rusted patina of the steel structure. Additional exterior finishes include wood and concrete, which, like the steel, were selected for their durability and left unadorned without any added finish, echoing the rugged terrain of the desert.
For the interiors, the designers have opted for a more refined, mid-century palette evoking Desert Modernism which flourished in Palm Springs in the 40s and 50s with iconic residences such as Frank Sinatra’s home, Bing Crosby’s estate and Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House. The finishes here are more polished yet still based on natural materials like wood and cement, retaining a connection with the natural landscape despite the luxuriance they evince. Sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of the elegantly furnished lounge, visitors can take in the breathtaking vistas, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling glazing, without the desert’s scorching heat and blinding sun, an experience that sums up the concept behind the Desert Palisades development itself.