Set against the rugged, sun bleached hillsides of Chino Canyon in Coachella valley, California, outside of Palm Springs, the private enclave of Desert Palisades offers modern residences stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. Designed by Los Angeles based Studio AR+D Architects, the Desert Palisades Guardhouse encapsulates the mid-century modernism of the development while creating a dynamic dialogue between the man-made and the natural elements.
Constructed out of steel that has been left to naturally rust, the rectangular geometry of the Guardhouse stands out among the organic forms of the desert landscape and yet doesn’t feel out of place due to its earthy tones. This formalistic juxtaposition culminates in the spatial relationship between an expansive, ten-meter cantilever that shades the entrance driveway and a massive, free-standing boulder that has been placed in its shadow. The architects have designed the cantilever in close proximity to the boulder’s tip, destined to hover above it but never touch it. It’s a conversational composition that conjoins the natural and the man-made in poetic tension.