dwell – Rock Reach

Rock Reach House is featured in the April ’10 issue of dwell magazine

Rock Reach House is the first home utilizing the Blue Sky Building SystemTM.  It was built in the Southern California desert community of Yucca Valley.  Rock Reach House was completed in eight weeks, and we expect that future homes of this design will be finished in approximately six weeks (once footings are in place).

The 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom house was designed by the innovative Palm Springs firm o2 Architecture to maximize both the benefits of the Blue Sky Building System and the house’s spectacular location at 4,000 feet above sea level amid massive weathered boulders and ancient piñon and juniper trees.

To grade a traditional home pad here would have irreparably damaged this beautiful site.  But the Blue Sky Building System allows the house to float above the rugged terrain on six columns.  Those columns are anchored to small, hand-dug concrete footings.  The landscape was left largely untouched.  Indeed, a small seasonal stream passes beneath the house in rainy weather.

Rock Reach House – like the system itself – is all about steel.  The only wood in the entire house is found in cabinetry and a couple of interior doors.

The Rock Reach House Features:

  • Two-bedroom, one-bath 1,000-square-foot home
  • Cold-formed, light-gauge galvanized steel frame
  • Standing-seam metal roof
  • Polished concrete floors
  • Steel Thermal Efficient Panel (S.T.E.P.) exterior walls
  • Milgard sliding glass doors throughout
  • Punched 340-square-foot steel deck
  • Solar photovoltaic electric generating system
  • Solar hydronic system for hot water and forced-air heating
  • Ceiling fans in bedrooms (living room pre-wired for fan)
  • Air conditioning system
  • Leviton Decora switches and plugs
  • Dimmers and recessed low-voltage ceiling lighting
  • Dual bedside reading lights in each bedroom
  • LED light fixtures in kitchen
  • Toto dual-flush toilet
  • Low-maintenance tempered glass shower enclosure
  • Outdoor shower on rear deck
  • European faucets
  • Vetrazzo countertops and backsplashes
  • Bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council certified cabinetry throughout
  • GE Profile all-electric kitchen cooking appliances
  • Bosch dishwasher
  • GE Monogram side-by-side refrigerator
  • GE stacked washer/dryer
  • Monitored security system
  • Home theater and whole house audio system
  • Doorbell intercom at carport rings phone in house
  • Galvanized “cowboy” soak tub with deck
  • Advanced septic system (including gray water system)
  • Two-car carport with three locked storage rooms
  • Water well with two 1,500-gallon underground storage tanks

Rock Reach House Project Team

Architecture o2 Architecture is a respected Palm Springs, California-based architecture firm known for its rigorous environmentally crafted modernist designs for a range of residential, commercial and institutional projects.  The firm, which is headed by Lance O’Donnell, AIA, and Project Architect Martin Brunner, is dedicated to discovering the essence of place.

Lance O’Donnell grew up in the Coachella Valley and returned to the valley after earning his undergraduate architectural degree from Cal State San Luis Obispo and his master of architecture from UCLA.  In addition to leading o2, Lance teaches architecture and sustainability at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert and at Cal Poly Pomona.  For the past 10 years he has held a seat on the Palm Springs Architectural Review Board.  He has received a number of professional awards and honors.

Project Architect Martin Brunner has 20 years of professional experience in both Europe and the U.S.  Other contributors in the o2 office include Marco Garcia, Stephen Gardner, Ryan Lamb, Regina Basterrechea and Sergio Aguillar.

For more information visit www.o2arch.com

General Contractor – Solterra Development is a progressive residential and commercial builder based in Palm Springs.  Under the leadership of principal Michael Flannery the firm has developed a reputation for its environmentally sustainable projects, cost-conscious results and industry innovation.  Solterra is an active participant in the US Green Building Council and built one of Palm Spring’s first LEED-qualified residential projects.

The firm has worked with Blue Sky Homes from the beginning as the lead building consultant charged with determining how best to implement desired innovations in real-world construction settings.

For more information visit www.solterrahomes.com.

Interior Design – Christopher Kennedy Design is a leading design firm in the Coachella Valley.  Led by Christopher Kennedy, Allied ASID, the firm has become known for its sophisticated and eco-friendly interior design work.  Christopher Kennedy is a LEED-accredited designer.

The firm currently has residential projects under way in a number of Coachella Valley cities as well as in Las Vegas and Chicago.

For more information visit www.christopherkennedy.com.

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