PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
The house is perched fifty feet above street level on a narrow plateau, seven hundred and fifty feet above the valley floor. The scissor-like composition echoes the shape of two mountains that rise precipitously in the background and gives the house its distinctive profile. Due to seismic instability, the structure had to be anchored to its hilltop site with steel pilings and concrete footings. Gill-like openings in the colonnade are 16-feet tall but diminish in height as they advance towards the south, a visual device that the ancient Greeks understood: repetition and forced perspective create a heightened sense of monumentality. “The nearby mountains are so huge in scale that we had to create a scale-denying strategy,” said Chris Coy. “The house is only 5,000 square feet but we wanted to create more of a presence.” The master bedroom suite projects from the back of the house as a separate, autonomous volume while three guest rooms look out onto a sunken courtyard with a gravel-and-cactus garden. The main living space opens out to monumental views of the Coachella Valley through 20-foot-wide panels of high-impact glass that slide back and forth on steel tracks. A trapezoidal infinity pool extends the eye further beyond the property, out past Cathedral City, to the snow-covered peaks of the San Jacinto Mountains.
“The house is only 5,000 square feet but we wanted to create more of a presence.”