simon de aguero: brittlebush simon de aguero: brittlebush
oct 20, 2010

simon de aguero: brittlebush

‘brittlebush’ by simón de agüero all images courtesy simón de agüero

simón de agüero, a recent graduate of the frank lloyd wright school of architecture in taliesin, arizona, has sent us images of his design-build project, ‘brittlebush’. the design is an experimental desert dwelling for winter residents of the area. 

featuring an open-air living space, the shelter largely incorporates tensile fabric structures into its design to provide a tent-like covering. the masts and anchors on the structure can adaptively accommodate a 150 square-foot roof membrane of either shade-cloth or vinyl. the living space is circumscribed with a jagged, three-inch rammed-earth wall framed in steel. a raised bed platform for one is situated above a fireplace for passive winter heating.

the majority of the material used for ‘brittlebush’ were recovered or found on site: 90% of the steel was salvaged from the school scrap yard, all of the wood used for the formwork was waste from a local renovation project, and the earth used for the walls was from on-site.

  • one of the most interesting student built works to come onto this site. like frei otto, decon + f.l. wright. in any case, nicely executed, well done.

    g says:
  • Agreed, and it blends in harmoniously, like a spider web. And all the broken-grid angles with found materials — excellent work.

    Tom P says:
  • if I recall, they have a lot of lizards and other critters in that area

    the seating is brilliant

    dbkii says:
  • its nice… but why concrete in desert…?

    for the sake of design says:
  • the living space is circumscribed with
    a jagged, three-inch rammed-earth wall framed in steel. a raised bed platform for one is situated above
    a fireplace for passive winter heating.

    for the purpose learning to reading says:

    MMM says:
  • its amazing how many people comment on these things and don’t actually finish reading the articles. too quick to criticize

    nag says:
  • the better question is how does one build in the dessert and is this successfully doing that?

    for the purpose of design thinking says:
  • lovely, but how does it vent?

    Magda Lucas says:
  • The large mass beside the bed is a smokestack. The fabric would not have been possible without the assistance from Thank you

    Simon says:
  • This project was truly inspired. Simon did an amazing job on it. The rammed earth is very well done and Simon did an excellent job with the sail. We look forward to working with him again soon.

    Matthew says:
  • how all desert living should and may eventually be after the revolution . . . . . highly vernacular and very sustainable

    rkczech says:

    W.L says:
  • I love this. I would love to build one in my backyard.
    Would be great to gather with friends…
    Clean cut, love the idea of sleeping above the fire place.
    I was wondering how the smoke generated from the fire is recycled?

    Ashley Helmich says:
  • what is the total $ of the project – without the freebies from the school – especially the fabric for the roof

    mike henrichs says:
  • I am not sure I understand this question…the projects actual cost was at 2,300USD. If you add up all the donations and reused materials and labor as if it where a commercial or residential…you are changing the conditions and therefore you are changing the design…but, my educated guess would be…If someone came to me wanting a similar design…with a similar program and no materials to recycle or donate, in the virgin dessert… I would put a estimated cost of a 40,000USD to 50,000USD price tag on the construction cost.

    Simon says:

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