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Mummy Mountain Residence in Paradise Valley, Arizona by Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC
August 14th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC
The project proposes an architecture that responds to the inherent qualities of the site, privileged views, and the larger context of the Sonoran Desert. The language of the house draws upon these inherencies and allows for a greater understanding of the project’s circumstances.
A series of parallel sandblasted concrete block walls (CMU) are configured in a way that allows the landscape and the views to flow freely through the spaces. These CMU walls orient the spaces to the undisturbed views of Pinnacle Peak, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, and the Superstition Mountains, while controlled openings within the CMU walls capture characteristics of the immediate site and landscape, specific views of the mountains beyond, and the desert sky.
A metal clad roof is situated between the CMU walls and inflects to focus specific views based on program. The configuration of Cor-Ten clad metal stud walls aid in editing out the immediate manmade context of the neighboring uninspired houses and assist in focusing views on the landscape and mountains in the distance.
In an effort to domesticate the otherwise “raw” spaces, the introduction of both veneered plywood and Level 5 plaster walls are articulated as veneers at specific surfaces of the exposed CMU walls at the interior spaces. The millwork is comprised of Quartersawn Maple and white stone countertops.
The garages and entry court are located on the first level. The majority of the project’s program is located on the main level at one elevation due to the clients’ age. Two other bedrooms are located at different elevations, and by means of the section, allow for privacy and a more distinct focus on the specific qualities of views and the desert landscape.
Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC
The investigation of design and architectural ideas at Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC involves a rich process where the tools of drawing and sketching by hand, model making, rendering, and computer associated methods are deployed. There exists no ordained methodology at which the design solution is arrived. Programmatic needs, conditions of the site, and attention to the client’s desires all serve to inform this process. Our focus intensifies when we examine the spatial experience of our work. This representation allows us to thoroughly explore the architecture as it will be experienced in its built construct. We do not impose a particular language to a design idea. Rather we allow the process to inform, and as a result allow our language to reinforce the inherent ideas latent within every project.
Thamarit Suchart and Patricia Szu-Ping Suchart completed their studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and Bachelor of Architecture Degree 1997) and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (Master of Architecture in Urban Design Degree 1999). Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC was established with Szu-Ping Patricia Chen in 2002 while Thamarit was working at Wendell Burnette Architects and Patricia at Jones Studio, as a creative outlet to further independent thinking in design. Patricia left Jones Studio in 2003 to solely focus on the work of Chen + Suchart Studio while Thamarit continued to also work for Wendell Burnette Architects through May 2010. As of May 2010, Thamarit has worked full time with Patricia as the owners and founders of Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC. Thamarit is a registered architect in the State of Arizona.
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