Physical Model - Network of underground closets
Villa in Palm Springs
Located in Palm Springs, a desert resort city within the Coachella Valley of Southern California. The city is protected by a series of mountain ranges on all sides and is the northwestern tip of a string of cities that connect to the Salton Sea at the south eastern end. This project explores the role of obsession and obsessive behavior in architecture. The program for this project was a single family residence.
Obsession about privacy
The House being located in Palm Springs which has an increasing number of homes dedicated to airbnb and vrbo rentals, resulted into splitting the mass of the house into two separate masses placed on the perimeter of the site, and divided by a courtyard. Furthermore, in order to provide complete isolation from the street and the neighborhood, a 3ft thick wall is build around the site which acts as a fortification.
Obsession about Program
Socio-Culturally, Palm Springs originated as a health retreat due to the therapeutic value of dry climates and mineral hot springs. In the early 1900’s the word spread to writers and artists who extolled its virtues to Hollywood celebrities whom started to throw parties in their Palm Springs villas. In result of these behaviors, today in 2017 Palm springs is still known for its paradoxical character of being a very loud and quiet city at the same time.
Having two completely separated masses on the site allowed for a separation of program based on those characters of the city. For instance, the mass on the east side contains a large open space, an exterior bathroom/shower, and a kitchen in which allows for the loud programs to happen. However, the mass on the west side includes bedrooms, living room, and a kitchen for daily routine activities (quiet). Furthermore, closets were treated as an element that often obscure the architectural plan and were removed from the interior and were placed on the back of the site and underground. They can be accessed from the elevators inside the bedrooms or through the maze (garden) and the bunkers on the back of the site.
This act of treating a specific element (program) such as closet as a very special thing puts an emphasis on how an obsession about a specific element which often is conceived as unimportant, can have a major impact on both formal and conceptual qualities of a project.
Obsession about Light (transparency)
In response to the program of each mass, transparency was approached in a way that would be an indication of the activities happening on the inside. For instance, the west mass which is dedicated to loud activities has glass on all sides (horizontal transparency), however on the other hand the mass on the east which is dedicated to quiet programs is totally opec on all sides but receives light from skylights provided on the ceiling (vertical transparency).
Underground Floor Plan (Network of Closets)
Ground Floor Plan
2nd Floor Plan