Dancing Light, Project of the Year, Custom Home
Site: Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Entrant/Builder: Desert Star Construction
Architect: Kendle Design Collaborative
Interior Designer: David Michael Miller Associates
Photographer: Alexander Vertikoff
Size: 6,200 sf
Completion: November 2016
The soaring canopy of intersecting roof planes is your first sign that Dancing Light is special. Brent Kendle, president of Kendle Design Collaborative, says the design team was influenced by desert boulder fields and Native American cliff dwellings, some of which are located within 30 miles of the project. “The fins are essentially a standing-seam metal roof placed on its side,” Kendle says. “They project out far enough to cast a shadow that changes throughout the day.”
Builder Jerry Meek, president of Desert Star Construction, says the home took 22 months to complete, partly because of the rammed-earth walls. “Their thermal mass absorbs heat and prevents it from reaching the interior of the home,” he says, “but it’s a process that dates back to 5000 B.C. in China, and is very slow and labor-intensive.”
Kendle laid out the garage, master suite, main living areas, and guest quarters to resemble separate structures, spaced around a central atrium and connected by glass corridors. Visitors enter through an oversized pivot door sheltered by a stealth-wing-shaped canopy and are greeted by the atrium with its glass walls, sculptural rock, succulents, and an ironwood tree. It creates the effect of being indoors and outdoors simultaneously.
“Numerous cracks and crevices allow natural light to come through the roof and bounce in unique ways,” Kendle says. “The light changes throughout the day as the sun moves across those spaces.”
Kendle and Meek called out many trade superstars involved with the project, including Linear Fine Woodworking, whose crew spent four months on a lift assembling the wood ceilings.
Click on slideshow below for more photos