When John Boccardo and J.R. Roberts of Boccardo Roberts Architecture and Design built this desert dwelling in the Little Tuscany neighborhood, they were determined to embrace the unevenness of the hillside lot.
“The land slopes from west to east and we wanted to honor that rather than cover it up,” says Roberts. “And [we] wanted to have as little impact as possible on the desert floor.”
It’s often referred to as “The Bridge House” because the great room sits on a steel I-beam structure 6 feet above the terrain. Known as “the pavilion,” this room bridges the two bedroom wings that literally anchor the house.
Listed for $1.9 million, the residence’s main pavilion presents an open space that includes a living area and kitchen with mahogany cabinetry. Two of the bedroom suites and an intimate den are situated on one side of the home, and the third suite is located opposite. Each of the baths features open walk-in showers, limestone and glass tile; two have soaking tubs.
One of the most surprising design elements is a large, weight-bearing glass pane placed in the floor that serves as a hearth for the double-sided fireplace situated between the living room and den. “[It’s] the opposite of a skylight, to offer a view under the house,” says Roberts.
Another architect inspired their thoughtful use of low-maintenance building materials such as steel, cement block, and concrete siding. Roberts says, “I learned from the great desert modernist E. Stewart Williams that using the right materials will reduce wear from the intense desert elements.”
Other components are high ceilings, custom lighting, and clerestory windows that provide added light and glimpses of the sky and distant mountains. The front yard, gated for privacy, encompasses a spacious patio. A swimmer’s lap pool with separate spa is backdropped by a natural and rugged desert landscape.
The balance of function and aesthetics earned the house the Excellence in New Design Award from the Palm Springs Modern Committee in 2006. “It was a surprise and very humbling to be chosen,” says Roberts. “We are honored to be among those whose work is celebrated.”
Location: Little Tuscany
Asking Price: $1,950,000
Square Footage: 3,128
Special Features: Fleetwood doors and windows, stainless steel appliances, and an attached two-car garage.
Agent: TTK Represents, HK Lane/Christie’s International Real Estate, www.ttkrepresents.com; 760-904-5234