Metal-Clad Masterpiece: Modern Desert Home atop a Mesa

Like a metallic monolith buried in the sand on top of an otherwise-untouched msa, this building was created to look as solid as a stone amongst the howling desert winds all around it – a psychological bastion against the harsh elements of its flat wasteland environment.

It was “imagined as the tip of an iceberg with a much larger mass below” by architect Steven Holl and constructed off site using 3D digital modeling and prefabrication technologies. The pieces were transported and assembled in its rugged and remote New Mexico location.

The interior design strategies are somewhat more conventional overall – white walls and ceilings, metal bridges and comfortable modern furniture. Still, the places where inside and outside connect (doors and windows) are strange and engaging boundaries.

Aptly named the Turbulence House, the structure seems like a natural formation that has shifted over time along with the changing geology of the region – curved aluminum cladding looks worn by the wind and fracture-like windows appear as cracks in its surface.

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