Novum Design Award
Architectural Design Category
Architecture, desert house, astronomy, art gallery
Flynn Architecture & Design
Copyright 2019 Flynn Architecture & Design
In the hot, dry desert with mountain vistas sits a cool white pearl, like a mirage in the landscape.
An exhibition gallery blends an artist’s fabrication workshop with the major living areas. The main staircase spirals through the room, making interaction with art intertwined with circulation. Blossoming like a desert flower, large doors open the house to a central courtyard, shaded by a translucent acrylic canopy. The barrel-vault roof extrudes east-west while the southern bedroom arc extrudes upwards from the floor plan. These two massive, curved volumes counterbalance the structurally-isolated, spherical astronomy dome. An elevator transports visitors and equipment to the spacious roof deck for stargazing events.
Heavy earthen walls are often used in desert buildings to absorb daytime heat and release it at night. However, to avoid producing heat waves that would distort the telescope’s nocturnal photography, thermally-light construction with reflective, white metal paneling is used to deflect sunlight and keep the exterior near ambient air temperature. A shaded pool and artificial grass ecologically conserve water while providing an unexpected oasis in the scorching climate.
Renderings by Matt Flynn
DESIGN SCORE: /100
Novum Design Award Winner in