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3 Engbarth Space Home


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Published Project: Very Modern Residence in Arizona desert.

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3 Engbarth Space Home

  1. 1. Most Magazine articles on bold residential designs begin with phrases like: “the first thing you notice is … “ or “it all began with blah blah blah … “ But in order to understand the home pictured here, you’ve got to do three things: 1) Forget everything you’ve seen before. 2) embrace your imagination. 3) Have fun. that’s exactly what the architect and clients in this case did—they went on a search for something completely PHotos By MicHael Baxter different and landed here. the architect is Jeff Page, principal of a boutique firm spacelineDesign architects + interiors; the client is a young couple with three children, two dogs, a thriving business, By DaViD tyDa A new home by SpaceLineDesign and lots of guts. “they were enthusiastic is totally out-of-this-world and wanted to feel inspired by their energetic dream home,” says Page of his clients, who work in the HVac industry. “We geometric produced a full design analysis and concept exploration with extensive hand-renderings, study models, and animated 3-D fly-bys,” says Page. “the result is an incredible expression of modern architecture that responds to their desires and our collective imaginations.” Programmatically, the home is organized into a 5,600-square-foot main residence with below-grade three-car garage and a detached 750-square-foot office and guest quarters with below-grade six-car garage. there’s a master suite on the second level of the main house, meditation studio that cantilevers off the main structure, an underground dance practice space for the kids, desert footpaths all around, and a sweet foosball table in the main room. to get in, guests ascend a series of shallow concrete stairs through a garden path arriving at a shaded main entry, where the front door is flanked by a wall-hugging concave water feature and a plate of curved glass that provides a view into the dining room. Page calls this semi-enclosed area “the quiet and calm entry experience that prepares visitors for what’s to come.” inside the front door, a round stainless steel column holding up the master bedroom and roof comes down from the ceiling but doesn’t touch the floor – instead its
  2. 2. Right: the south-facing great room, located over the below- grade garage, is protected by a 12-foot roof overhang while slivers of light are allowed in to slip in between the overlap- ping curved roof lines. Below left: a site-cast concrete arma- ture supports the cantilevered meditation room over a desert wash. The low horizontal window provides a meditative view while sitting lotus-style on the glass floor. Page says: “The room rests on a giant armature that metaphorically channels energy from the earth.” Below right: this view from the street shows the office/guest house at right and main house beyond.
  3. 3. Above: the opening in the 14- inch concete wall was made by placing Styrofoam in the concrete form and then chipping it away once the concrete set. It was meant to express the energy of “breaking through” for the kids, says Page. Left: rebar shaped to resemble an ocoti- llo holds up the staircase land- ing. Above left: the Moroccan- themed master bath. Opposite: a triple-pipe column at center holds up the entire double overlapping great room roof, as well as the multi-stepped layered roofs over the bar and breakfast areas.
  4. 4. “The meditation room rests on a giant armature that metaphorically channels energy from the earth.”
  5. 5. supported sideways off a solid curved site-cast concrete wall which sweeps up 10 feet almost to the ceiling. “it was tricky for the engineers to get the heavy weight shifted from the floating steel column into the concrete support wall; and also for the concrete contractor to pour a curved wall that gestures to the ceiling without actually touching it.” this is only one example where the ideas of energy transfer and tension created by negative space were worked into the design of this house. in the main room, cast-in- place tilt-up concrete walls hold up undulating wood ceiling planes which float over one another, creating long, thin spaces for panels of translucent poycarbonate— allowing natural light to sift in and emphasize the architecture. in the meditation room, a 42-inch circular “My favorite part of this glass window in the floor allows for house is where this curved views of the desert wash running below. in the hallway leading to the concrete wall almost kids bedrooms and playroom, walls of contacts the ceiling, while polished cMU block are stacked to just below the ceiling, so natural light passes delicately holding the from the exterior walls, through the hallway, weight of the second floor and into the bedrooms. “i love the tension that’s created in the negative space between and roof .” the block and the ceiling.” one place there isn’t any tension: the master suite. located at the top of a metal and wood staircase that leads directly and exclusively into the bedroom, this area is meant for lounging and relaxation. the bathroom, which is outfitted with an oversize soaking tub, steam shower, two-way fireplace, and decadent Moroccan design theme, actually measures larger than the bedroom, where a king-size bed snuggles up to a 12-foot long horizontal window framing a vista of the city lights and distant camelback mountain. so how do the owners like living in this highly expressive piece of architecture? if the Jägermeister machine that was half empty atop their bar is any clue, they’re enjoying every minute of it. n Take a tour this home with DL’s Editor-in-Chief David Tyda in a short video by clicking on DL-TV at