Posts tagged with "deserts":

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Amangiri Resort blends with Utah’s dramatic desert landscapes for one luxurious getaway

One of hospitality’s hottest hideaways is located—where else—on barren desert land solely accessible via a treacherously winding road. Booked to nearly full capacity for the first two years of operation, the Amangiri resort is nestled in a desert region called the “Four Corners,” where the borders of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona converge. The resort was crafted by architects and designers Wendell Burnette, Marwan Al-Sayed, and Rick Joy, and guest rooms overlook a sea of sand billows, presenting unhindered views of the Stud Horse Point of the Glen Canyon to the majestic Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. A bird’s-eye-view of the estate hints at an unimpressive, boxy encampment, but staying in this luxury enclave will set you back $1,100 a night for a desert-view suite and $3,600 for the Amangiri Suite. Designed to blend into the surrounding monoliths, the building features natural materials and textures, with a concrete facade subtly tinted pink, ocher, and light yellow to soften the building’s profile. The pavilion and main pool (which is heated to more than 80 degrees at all times) are configured around a dramatic stone escarpment which is more than 150 million years old. Adjacent to it is a communal great room with four fireplace niches, which serves as a reception area, dining room, gallery, library, and living room—as well as an optimal vantage point for drinking in the sunset. Two accommodation wings stem from the pavilion—the Desert Wing contains 16 suites, with 18 suites and the Aman Spa located in the Mesa Wing. In designing the building the architects deferred to the geometry of the looming cliffs, often slanting walls towards each other to provide slot canon views of the desert and mesa. Desert-dwelling pastimes touted by the resort include hot air ballooning, helicopter rides, equestrian excursions, hikes, and day trips to Lake Powell. The luxury resort is the brainchild of Singapore-based company Aman Resorts, which specializes in developing small, exclusive properties in locations that stray from the beaten path. [h/t Fubiz.]
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A Desert Oasis by assemblageSTUDIO

Capped by a protective steel mesh screen, tresARCA house is built for indoor/outdoor living.

There are two ways to live with Las Vegas’ harsh climate. The first, epitomized by the hermetically-sealed tract houses ringing the Strip, rejects the reality of the desert in favor of air conditioning and architecture evoking far-off places. The second strategy embraces the environment for what it is, and looks to the natural world for cues about how to adapt. In their tresARCA house, assemblageSTUDIO took the latter approach. Glass and granite punctuated by a folded steel screen surrounding the second-floor bedrooms, tresARCA’s facade is a meditation on the resilience of the desert landscape. “The mesh screen idea came from looking at various shadow patterns in the desert and the idea of the cracked desert floor,” said principal Eric Strain. On a practical level, the screen catches heat before it reaches the bedrooms, allowing daylight to filter in without raising the interior temperature. Aesthetically, “the idea was that the home sits at the base of the Red Rock Mountains, the background scenery is the stratification and the layering of the Red Rock Mountains,” said Strain. “To not copy, but [to] suggest that layering is where the folding nature [of the screen] came from.” JD Stairs fabricated the screen using mesh from The Western Group. The company, which provided the home’s other non-structural steel components, including fencing and the vault-like front door, was tapped for the job partway through the design process. Having never built something of this scale, they staged several full-scale mockups, at one point renting a parking lot to lay out the entire structure.
  • Facade Manufacturer JD Stairs, The Western Group, Tuscany Collection, Fleetwood Windows & Doors, Sawbuck Design
  • Architects assemblageSTUDIO
  • Location Las Vegas
  • Date of Completion 2011
  • System folded steel mesh floating screen, granite, retractable glass doors
The screen floats an average of 1 foot 6 inches away from the bedroom walls. At each of the screen’s nodes—points where multiple panels intersect—adjacent panels are bolted in pairs around 3/8-inch plate steel fins, which in turn are connected to 3 ½-inch-diameter steel pipes extending from the wall. The result, in which triangular panels of mesh fit together to form diamond-pointed projections of varying sizes, resembles an abstracted rock outcropping, a geometric transition between earth and sky. The remainder of the facade is clad in granite, by Tuscany Collection, and glass, by Fleetwood Windows & Doors and Sawbuck Design. Fully retractable doors open all of tresARCA’s public spaces to the outdoors, where the house’s blocky massing creates protective crevices of shade and cool air. The language of layering and natural textures extends from the exterior to the interior walls, which feature blackened steel panels and Shou Sugi wood, among other materials. tresARCA’s challenge to the conventional division between indoors and out is particularly potent in the Nevada desert. Where others see a choice between sealing themselves inside or moving somewhere else, assemblageSTUDIO sought a third way, said Strain. “We tried to convince people that you can live outside in Las Vegas when it’s still 110.”