Living in the Desert–and Barely Needing an AC


The best green design isn’t complicated. It’s dead simple, and it’s not even necessarily high tech. Witness the home that Architect Lloyd Russell designed for Jim Austin, a former clothing entrepreneur, on a site in Pioneertown, California–a desert where temperatures regularly top 100 degrees. But the winds are quite fierce, so Russell took advantage of that. The 1,600 sqaure-foot home is shaded by a metal canopy. Because of the space between the house’s roof and the canopy, breezes can rush through, thus naturally cooling all sides of the building. Inside, the fittings and finishings are comprised of materials salvaged from the area. The home itself fronts a courtyard with four other rental cabins, an open-air barbeque, and a concrete patio that doubles as a performance stage. Sounds like heaven. 

Check out more pictures of the home, which Dwell‘s featuring in its July/August issue, here and here; read more about it here. And one parallel: A school designed by Norman Foster that we recently featured actually uses the same shed/air flow concept.


Related: Norman Foster’s Plan to Save the Children: Build a School for Sierra Leone

[Dwell via Jetson Green; photos by David Harrison]