The desert environment of Palm Springs provided the inspiration for everything in this residence, from its orientation to its floor plan, exterior materials and interior finishes. The design celebrates the hallmarks of classic desert modernism—horizontal lines, the use of natural materials, expansive glazing, and visual and physical linkages between indoors and out. It is at once deeply rooted in the site and elevated above it, enjoying broad vistas over the floor of the LaQuinta Valley. The home’s simple, functional, and elegant composition consists of two rectangular wings joined by a glass bridge. Directly adjacent to the entry road, running east to west, a large boulder grouping helps define the natural building extents. The residence is perched lightly above two natural arroyos and existing boulders so as not to impact the natural terrain and to maintain drainage channels. In order to minimize onsite grading, the siting utilizes the natural slope from the street to the garage, and the building is 5-feet below “street grade”. This allows the western portion of the building, the main wing, to be slab on grade. The native boulders that establish the site’s extent also serve as a privacy buffer to the street, contributing to the serene experience of the home blending into landscape, or suddenly appearing upon approach as visitors come around the bend. The west wing is visually connected by the motor court and is the structural anchor of the residence. The terrain slopes away and the east wing, maintaining the slab on grade finished floor height, gracefully lifts away from the earth and is suspended over the terrain. A glass bridge connects the two wings, providing a sense of tranquility from the point of entry and defines two internal courtyards filled with native plantings. Trellises filter diffused daylight into the courtyards, which create visual connections to the landscape from many vantage points. Strategically placed floor-to-ceiling glazing frames stunning views of the desert in all directions. Exterior materials include earth-toned plaster and textured concrete masonry units that match the color of the sand and mountains. The main wing and its 12-foot deep overhangs are clad in in brass paneling that will patina over time. Teak and travertine are precisely detailed and present throughout. The west wing includes the entry, guest room, and garage, and the east wing contains the primary suite, two bedrooms, and a great room with floor-to-ceiling walls spanning 30 feet on both sides. Through large, sliding glass doors, the living area extends onto a spacious outdoor deck with a pool, dining area, spa, fireplace, and lounge. The blend of open, shared areas and intimate enclosures allows owners and guests to experience a rejuvenating range of spatial environments. Interior hues are desert-like; sage greens and dusty pinks mix into sandy, brown tones to create a muted palette that blends in with the local terrain. A variety of wood furnishings throughout the home – such as the custom oak indoor dining table, walnut side tables, and teak outdoor dining table – replicate the range of shades found in the site’s boulders. Pops of color, such as the custom green upholstered bedframe in the primary suite, soft pink bedding, and indoor plants selected for the climate, help to bring the outdoors in. Many furnishings were chosen to balance the severe setting as well. Plush furniture such as the Bonnie Swivel chair (Ligne Roset), custom sand-toned poufs, and Capital Complex Armchair (Cassina) provide a cozy contrast to the harsh exterior. Created first and foremost with its context in mind, this residence allows the owners to experience what is most important – it’s siting, environment, and landscape – and is emblematic of the desert modernism that came before it.
Many firms describe their work as “transformative”—architecture as an accomplished fact. At Woods + Dangaran, we create modern homes through dialogue and exploration. By collaborating closely with our clients throughout the design process, we are better able to inspire them with the finished product. By working closely with trusted tradespersons, we can deliver work that is uncompromising in craftsmanship.
Working across the country, we design holistically and at every scale: from integrating architecture and interiors to creating custom furnishings. The result are projects that are subtle and disciplined, pure in form, and focused on realizing sublime experiences of space and light. Each building is a carefully curated journey through indoor and outdoor environments that are quietly luxurious, elegantly fluid, and warmly modern.