Gallery: Discreet Desert Eco Homes Planned for the Mojave Desert

A new desert home community has been planned for La Quinta, CA in the Mojave Desert, just outside of Palm Springs. The rich desert landscape covered in spiny Joshua Trees will continue to be respected in this new discreet eco-community. Designed by Platform for Architecture + Research, 18 homes will be constructed to fit within the natural topology, carefully minimizing any environmental disturbances. Each home has been designed for the hot desert climate of the Mojave and includes solar shading, solar power, natural ventilation, xeriscaping and more.

The 15-acre plot of land set aside for the desert home community has been subdivided into 18 plots, each almost 1 acre in size. In order to minimize the disturbance on the desert landscape, roads and driveways have been sited discreetly and paved naturallly. Footprints for the homes have been minimized, while outdoor living spaces are maximized to take advantage of the moderate temperatures in the fall, winter and spring.  Villas were also oriented to take advantage of the prevailing northwesterly winds for natural ventilation.

As the homes are located in a desert, extreme temperatures are of concern. As such, the villas were designed to take advantage of the sun in the winter, while hiding beneath the shade during the summer. Each single family residence will feature solar roofs, solar passive design with appropriate shading and thermal massing, shaded glazing as well as xeriscaping around the homes. Three different villa designs are organized around their own courtyard, and are well-thought-out extensions of the surrounding landscape.

+ Platform for Architecture + Research


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  1. Holcim Awards January 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    This is an admirable project, trying to balance environmental needs with human inhabitation. Great effort although I do agree with mhuffman’s comment. However, this would be an ideal submission to the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction.

  2. mhuffman January 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    wouldn’t a clustered design be better? that would really cut down on the invasion of roads and sriveways and leave the majority of the land untouched.

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