Palm Springs home is the perfect 21st century retreat
Los Angeles Architects Woods + Dangaran Reveal Desert Palisades, a Minimalist and Contemporary Family Retreat in Palm Springs
Drawing inspiration from California’s mid-century heritage, while sprinkling its architecture with contemporary touches and the personality and needs of its owner, this Palm Springs home stands proudly in its arid, rocky landscape; a refreshingly minimalist piece of architecture that stands out confidently from the rocks and cacti of the site. Welcome to Desert Palisades, a new family home in the eponymous neighborhood of Palm Springs, designed by Woods + Dangaran.
The Los Angeles architecture studio, which is well versed in translating modernist architecture for the 21st century – see Moore House and Carla Ridge House – is adept at tackling the delicate balance between old and the new, the modern and the contemporary. The architects are known for creating spaces that feel dreamy of escape and at the same time warm and comforting – perfect for a 21st century retreat.
In the case of Desert Palisades, Woods + Dangaran were inspired by the desert context of the house. At the same time, the creation of a piece of architecture that could accommodate everyday family life like a holiday home – with all the comfort, spatial generosity and warmth that this may suggest – was paramount in the design brief such as described by Brett Woods, partner to bill the project, but also the client. To strike the right balance between old and new, softness and convenience, the harshness and powerful character of the surrounding Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains and the arid desert climate of Palm Springs, the team at architects worked with a simple, low style and linear volume that would contain a finely tuned interior.
The goal was for “the interiors to look like a desert, with sage greens and dusty pinks mixed with sandy and brown tones to create a muted palette that seems to blend into the desert terrain,” the architects explain. The internal composition features a serene and fairly restrained material and color palette of natural tones and rich textures, and is arranged in two wings (one with private aspects and one with public aspects of the retreat). Everything is on one level, opening up to the landscape through glazed walls, framing long, unobstructed views of the premises. Sections of glass alternate with a distinctive weathered brass on the facade, which makes the building shimmer from a distance, subtly announcing its presence and enticing walkers to approach.
The house contains four bedrooms, several bathrooms, as well as a large living space. Indoor and outdoor planting focuses on species native to the area and can withstand harsh local summer temperatures. A pool and paved patio provide options for outdoor entertaining — as many Palm Springs homes do, but this one’s delicate architectural balance ensures it has a distinct feel of its time, as well as place. The combination of clean lines and the mix of glass, masonry walls and metal feel at home in their larger natural and suburban context.
“It’s the anti-Palm Springs house,” say the architects. “It’s not overtly mid-century modernist, there’s no bright blue pool. It’s in the hills, not the apartments. This is a different type of Palm Springs vacation home, yet extremely out of place. §