Properties / Interiors

Shapeshifter House: A Sculptural Gem Rises from a Desert Land

Rising from the sandy terrain is a three-story family home, with its unique design informed by the land it is built upon.

Aug 15, 2018 | By Lynette Kee

Rising from the sandy terrain is a three-story family home, with its unique design informed by the land it is built upon. Located in the city of Reno, Nevada, the Shapeshifter House is carefully perched atop a cliff, completed with views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and Reno in a distance. The house designed by San Fransisco-based studio Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects (OPA) is representative of the symbiotic relationship between nature and human lodging.

Shapeshifter House: A Sculptural Gem Rises from a Desert Land

“They wanted a house that would both reflect the contemporary moment and be explicitly of the West,” – OPA

The home was originally built for a pair of art collectors and their love for contemporary art was explicitly reflected in the design of the house. Apart from having the shape of the terrain form the structure of the house, OPA also applied characteristics of the arid landscape into the design.

“The desert shapes the project both as a specific environment and as an idea. We see the return of the desert as the return of the repressed, a resilient ground that drifts and surges to form both landscape and shelter,” explain the architects. “Invoking the desert as a shapeshifter par excellence, the project began by treating the ground as a fluid material that allows different forms to emerge, then flicker or dissolve into other forms.”

They experimented with sculpted earth mounds which form portions of the roof to help reduce solar heat gains. Zinc panels connect to each other, creating asymmetrical shapes and irregular sections for the exterior.

Inside, light permeates through the glass doors. Generous glazing surrounds the house, harmonizing the interior and the natural landscape. Black ceilings that mimic the dynamic exterior, concrete floor and steel railings further accentuate the industrial-style home.

Entering the courtyard, guests will be greeted by an open plan living and dining room, wine cellar and a two-car garage. The upper levels feature bedrooms, bathrooms, a private terrace and a gallery area. All of which are kept in line with the theme of futurism and otherness.

“Landscape informs the architecture to the point that the two are inextricable: another desert mirage,” – OPA

Learn more about this artistic home, visit OPA.


 
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