cook residence

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This is a residence for a couple, a scientist and an artist. The scientist is in the optical sciences and has recently led a research project to Mars in search of water on the red planet. The artist works with the desert landscape and needed an indoor/outdoor studio on the site.

The concept for the house is derived from the Sinagua ruins of the desert southwest. Passive energy systems, employed by ancient inhabitants of the area, inform the siting and massing of the structure. The walls fade into the surrounding hillside, grounding the house and naturalizing its existence on the landscape. There is fluidity among indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the structure, underscoring possibilities of living in this climate and utilizing natural resources where possible. The structure employs a "cool air dam" system: the courtyard collects cool air that flows down the wash at night, and that is air is further cooled as it passes over the pool and fountain. The high mass building composed of interior masonry walls stores the cool air throughout the day, again taking the lesson from ancient vernacular architecture.

The master suite, complete with outdoor sleeping deck, is located on the upper level, facilitating star gazing and gathering cooling breezes during the hot summer months. The house is sited to maximize both desert and city views. The entry gateway and reflecting pool create a welcoming transitional space, similar to Persian or Latin American entry courtyards that take advantage of the liminal indoor/outdoor transitional spaces in other temperate climates.