Concrete Home Designed for the High Desert of Idaho
Designing a contemporary concrete home in an urban environment is one thing, but the challenge changes dramatically when one is far removed from civilization and set into a rural location with extreme climate conditions including hot windy summers and cold snowy winters.
This remote home designed by OSKA Architects is a strange blend of closed an open, a modernist concrete fortress home to conceptually and physically protect its inhabitants from harsh exterior elements with floor-to-ceiling glass for full views of the shifting surroundings.
A walled garden around part of the main house gives a layer of security and privacy from the vast expanse of flat desert and rolling hills around the home, creating close-up scenery to contrast with the far horizons visible in the distance.
The contrast between interior and exterior is intentionally stark, with warm wood and dark steel set against the bleak concrete-and-snow of the outdoors. The half-mile journey up the driveway thus culminates in an inviting and sheltering architectural experience.
More from the architects
“An important aspect of the complex is the protected “paradise garden,” which is separated from the wild landscape by thick concrete walls. The materials used in the structure, including concrete block, car-decking, and plywood, require little or no maintenance, and are capable of withstanding the extreme weather that characterize the desert’s four seasons.”
About OSKA, Now Known as Olson Kundig Architects
“The firm is led by Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten Ring Murray, Alan Maskin, Kevin Kudo-King and Hemanshu (HP) Parwani, who are supported by a staff of approximately 200 in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle. The firm opened a workspace in New York in 2014 to better serve its expanding roster of East Coast and international clients. The in-house interiors studio, founded in 2000, provides a full range of services, including material selection, custom furniture design, and purchasing capabilities. The landscape design studio provides in-house design services dedicated to artfully integrating nature and the built environment.”