In its tenth anniversary, the WAN House of the Year category continues to celebrate projects that not only deliver originality and quality, but also display a commitment to creating spaces that improve people’s lives. World Architecture News (WAN) has announced joint winners this year, DUST for Casa Caldera in Arizona and Walker Workshop for Oak Pass House in Beverly Hills. Situated in very different and distinctive American landscapes, both houses exemplify designs that subtly complement and integrate with the natural beauty of their surroundings.
In a contrasting location with panoramic canyon views, Oak Pass House in Beverly Hills was also created with an eye to the property’s adjacent topography and landscape. 130 protected Coast Live Oak Trees surround the house, and were the primary drivers for Walker Workshop’s design. The top level is composed of an array of masses that contains the kitchen, living, and dining areas. Each of these components rotates slightly to frame a unique perspective, together creating a panoramic impression of the canyon from the inside.
A sunken courtyard flanks the hallway, bringing in light and air from above, and creating a more intimately-scaled outdoor space. Bisecting the house, a seventy-five foot infinity lap pool creates continuity between the trees and their reflection.
Casa Caldera is an off-grid house in Southern Arizona’s San Rafael Valley, a remote landscape 15 miles north of the US/Mexico Border. Due to the location, self-sufficiency and security were key considerations in the design by DUST. Almost entirely custom built, features including the scoria walls, steel windows, doors, hardware, wood siding, casework and framing were all fabricated and installed by DUST.
Water is sourced from a well, while solar power is used for minimal electrical and appliance needs. Cooling is provided by natural cross ventilation through the zaguan and window openings, and wood fuel sourced on the property provides heating.
Casa Caldera by DUST Photo credit: ESTO/Jeff Goldberg