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The Poetic Tension Of Sean Lockyer’s Gateway To Desert Palasides

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Desert Palasides Guardhouse
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Words

Inspired by the mid-century homes that have made Palm Springs so architecturally iconic, a new generation of residents are making their mark on Southern California in a neighborhood called ‘Desert Palasides’.

To set the tone for this new development, Sean Lockyer of Studio AR&D was enlisted to design the gateway through which you enter and exit the neighborhood. Set in the Chino Canyon with views of Coachella Valley, Lockyer determined to create something that would connect to the surrounding terrain, and gesture to the calibre of buildings in the area. Constructed from weathering steel, board-marked concrete and wood, the resultant building’s rust-colored mass is at home amongst the barren landscape, whilst its geometric form allows it to remain distinct from it. Undoubtedly the most spectacular element of the guardhouse is the 10 meter cantilevered roof that extends from the building across the entrance and drive. It finishes, hovering just inches from the largest boulder on site, a point of cleverly considered tension devised by Lockyer to highlight the relationship between the built and natural environment. Today, Palm Springs is as synonymous with daring design as it is with desert, and with Lockyer’s guardhouse setting the tone of this new development, it seems there is exciting potential for the future of architecture in the region too.

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All images © Lance Gerber