desert loft 

The design inspiration for this renovation project stems from the client's somewhat opposing desires for an intervention with as few walls as possible while at the same time wanting a sense of enclosure, without feeling confined. The scheme is thought of as pieces of habitable furniture in which two large boxes are inserted into the inherited volume and then carved away to create the necessary functional spaces. Within the boxes the overhead panels are lowered below the existing ceiling to provide a sense of intimacy when occupying these spaces, while simultaneously allowing the double height volume to appear even more expansive. Necessary systems are designed to be fully integrated and are placed within the lowered ceiling spaces or cabinets that make up the boxes. Thin slot diffusers employed at ceiling/wall intersections provide the appropriate air supply in no more than a 3/4" reveal. All controls for the lighting and electrical systems, window shades, thermostats, and audio/visual components are collectively handled through a Crestron system that allows for maximum energy efficiency and complete customization of the overall environments, even remotely. The desert color palette is derived from the native Prickly Pear Cactus and its fruit, with the larger box taking its cues from the main body of the cactus itself and the smaller bedroom/mediation box analogous to its fruit. All boxes, walls, ceilings, and cabinetry, are made of basic concrete formwork materials. Since smooth materials are devoid of grain or pattern, a sense of texture is achieved through a system of actual or implied fasteners. The experience of the bathrooms, which are tiled floors, walls and ceilings with light blue mosaic glass tile, are thought of as walking into rooms of water or as representative of the incredible moisture that lies just beneath the skin of the desert cactus.




sq ft







scottsdale arizona



mark ryan studio

180 degrees


james l christy


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