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In collaboration with Architect Thomas Allen Ross, The Seventeen Mile Residence is a new structure on an existing site in Mohave County Arizona.  The site, situated ten miles from the nearest public road, provides a complete escape from the urban predominance experienced by the property's southern California homeowner.  Designed as a low-impact, environmentally informed design, the primary structural and architectural element is the south facing rammed earth wall.  This provides a thermal mass that blocks the significant heat gain experienced at the site, particularly the location's extreme summer heat reaching 120° F.  In addition, a desert vegetated planted roof provides further heat gain reduction and thermal insulation for the interior spaces.  The interior itself is a minimal design founded on a 1,000 SF block. One bedroom, one bath, and a shared space kitchen/living room mimics the constraints commonly found in urban development, intending to minimize construction costs, utility maintenance, and the general human environmental impact associated with development, despite the site's abundant fifteen acres.  In essence, the structure is intended to exist in harmony with its environment.  Working off of a small footprint requiring little resource and blending evenly with the desert palette, the Desert Escape protects the integrity of the natural landscape and achieves the urban escape in experience of desert presence.


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Matt Gummow