The Desert Courtyard House is located in a private development outside of Scottsdale, Arizona. As it is located near the bottom of the development on a small peninsula, houses above have views looking down on the roof. To ensure others’ views were not obstructed and to help the home disappear into the landscape, Wendell Burnette Architects designed the home to fit within the topography and blend into the landscape. The layout of the home takes into account the surrounding views and landscape so that experience of the place is the priority. Meanwhile, the roof is clad in weathered steel that will patina with age to match the surrounding desert floor and not intrude on views when seen from above.
Dirt excavated from the home’s site was used to create rammed earth walls that act as thermal mass to help with keeping the home’s temperature more stable. Large glass walls take in select views of the landscape and at night a metal ceiling inside matches the color of the night sky to give the sense that one is actually outdoors. Aggregate from the site as well as from the surrounding region is used to make concrete for floors and is polished to a fine finish resulting in a terrazzo like material that highlights the local natural materials beautifully.
Images ©Wendell Burnette Architects