The Rondolino Residence is a vacation home for an Italian journalist and writer who fell in love with the desert. The design and construction process was done completely via email, and never once did the client and architect, Peter Strzebniak, talk over the phone. In an effort to keep costs down, the decision was made to utilize panelized construction as opposed to modular construction. Although the results would have been similar in the end, Strzebniak believes that modular construction would have been better because of the remote location and the difficulty in finding skilled labor in such a remote location. Regardless, the home was completed and built as desired, although at a slightly higher cost.
With 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, the compact 1,176 sq ft home has a t-shaped layout with a public and private wing surrounded by a deck that expands the living space out into the desert. Built on top of a crawl space filled with gravel that moderates temperatures, the home is heated with hydronic radiant system. Passive solar design and natural and stack ventilation provide heat and cooling as necessary throughout the seasons. The SIPs feature high-performance insulation and a tight envelope minimizes heat loss. All windows are double paned with low-e coatings, and all the appliances are Energy Star certified. Low-VOC paints, bamboo flooring, and FSC-certified wood are used throughout. Landscaping around the house incorporates use of native species that do not require maintenance or water.
Nottoscale not only designed and managed the construction of the home, but they also decorated the interior and sourced all of the furnishings, including stocking the kitchen with pots, pans, plates, utensils, and even spices. This way the home was truly a turn-key vacation home – the owner only needs to stop at the store on his way in.
Images ©Joe Fletcher courtesy of Nottoscale