Outside of Phoenix, in the affluent town of Paradise Valley, large, modern, ranch-style homes are quite the norm, and now Scottsdale-based architecture firm Kendle Design Collaborative has created a sustainable adaptation to this residential home typology. The Quartz Mountain Residence is a modern, rammed-earth home that captures the beauty of the desert in its materiality and connection to nature. As the architect put it, “the rammed earth walls that rise from the geography metaphorically extend the desert site upward embracing and creating the interior spaces.”
The sophisticated Quartz Mountain Residence is a 4,700 square foot single family home that sits almost as a sculpture in the desert landscape. Modern in its design, the home boasts a material palette of earth, wood, stone and glass. The rammed-earth walls dance throughout the building helping to enhance the long horizontality of the building with its striated layers of compacted earth. A “cozy” feeling is described for this house by the architect, Brent Kendle. Undoubtedly, the use of rammed earth and wooden ceilings help to offset the cold tones of limestone floors and brick that create the other planes of the home.
This evocative, mid-century styled home also boasts an abundance of natural light. Floor to ceiling glazing and large sliding doors invite the colors of the desert into the home at all hours of the day. Overhead skylights also help to illuminate the interiors in order to keep energy consumption low. Overall, the home can be seen as a very efficiently designed thermal engine. The rammed-earth walls help to control the temperature of the home – appearing cool during the day while emitting the passive heat gained through the day’s sunlight during the night. It could be said that the long-term energy savings of this home will be as enjoyable as its infinity pool overlooking the desert.