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Urquhart Residence Remodel
(# 830)
Images Description Credits
Completion 3 / 2020
Square Footage 5,493
Specific Use of Building Residence
Project Location La Quinta, CA
The Client purchased a 40 year old Spanish colonial style contractor spec house in a private gated community in La Quinta. The goal was to transform the property into a minimalist desert modern weekend getaway and entertainment house.

The entire house was stripped to bare studs inside and outside and the pool and landscaping were completely demolished and removed. The Spanish tile roofing was removed and roof framing was altered to allow for large span openings and higher ceilings. All the small interior rooms were removed and opened up to large entertainment spaces with wide opening glass door systems to the new entertainment back yard with spectacular views of the La Quinta natural rock formations literally right there.

Windows were rearranged for privacy and high views up into the spectacular mountain rock formations. A courtyard with a “greeting flow pool” and “entry portal” with black steel canopy and steel plate gates (removed to repaint) greet the visitor. The pool stream flows in the direction of travel when the portal gate or front door opens.
The interior design concept is minimalist to be a backdrop for art and the rock formations right in the back yard. A black Shou Sugi Ban Fireplace wall hides multimedia equipment behind sliding doors.

The dominant steel trellis canopy structure hides the house rear roof system, provides much needed sun relief, and has an integrated misting system. It was also designed for future integration of solar panels. 
The pool and jacuzzi are minimalist in size, shape and design – again to emphasize the rock formations. An outdoor vertical “fire wall” lounge area and a discrete outdoor bar and BBQ complete the entertainment yard along with new mature specimen plants and palm trees.

Materials used were hard troweled integral color plaster, steel windows, metal standing seam roofing, powder coated steel tube trellis structure with corrugated metal roofing, and board formed concrete benches, firewall, jacuzzi, and bar counter.

The architect designed the entire house renovation and floor plan, shou sugi ban wall system, yard master plan, and site structures. The owner designed the interior finishes and furnishings. The landscape architect selected the plantings and trees. Both the architect and owner provided construction observation for the project.

This house is the only contemporary residence in this private enclave of 75 Mediterranean Spanish inspired properties. The design opened the eyes of the more design sensitive residents in this small enclave once they experienced the house and yard. They embraced the contemporary clean lines with less ornamentation than the neighborhood houses in general.

The owners do not use the property during the hot summer season and the indoor-outdoor passive ventilation means that they use very little energy for thermal comfort when they are there.

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