an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat

an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat

experimenting with underground architecture

 

Adapting to its hot desert climate, a house in the American Southwest is entirely embedded into the ground. This underground dwelling is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, a place known for its proximity to the Sonoran Preserve, a desertscape of rock formations and cacti. Also nearby is Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and studio Taliesin West, built in 1937. 

 

The Scottsdale home was originally built in 1979, but was recently sold for just over $2.3 million. The dwelling certainly embodies the experimental spirit of the decade which saw the rise of postmodernism in architecture.

scottsdale arizona underground houseImages courtesy Zillow

 

 

passive solutions in the desert heat

 

This underground house in Scottsdale, Arizona is designed in response to introduce ‘highly efficient living’ to its desert climate. Employing thoughtful passive strategies, the ‘earth-sheltered subterranean home’ makes the most of this landscape which sees incredibly hot days and chilly nights.

 

The dwelling is organized with a central, open-air courtyard below ground level, surrounded on all sides by the residential programming. This layout ensures natural light and ventilation into nearly every room which take shape with ten-foot ceilings and full-height walls of glazing. 

scottsdale arizona underground house

 

 

a thoughtfully designed house in scottsdale, arizona

 

While the underground Scottsdale house is sheltered from the Arizona sun during the day, the absorbed heat is released from the earth and back into the home during the cool evenings. While the architecture employs thoughtful passive strategies, it is still fit with a full HVAC system.

 

Approaching the house, the architecture appears as a flat plane, mirroring the vast flatness of its desertous context. A few steps up onto the platform brings visitors to the roof of the house, from which views downward into the subterranean courtyard are revealed. The dwelling’s location underground ensures ultimate privacy from neighbors, with all spaces guarded from view.

scottsdale arizona underground house
A footpath leads to the roof of the house at ground level

scottsdale arizona underground houseFrom the ground-level roof, an entrance stair leads down into the central courtyard

scottsdale arizona underground houseThe courtyard offers outdoor space while maintaining privacy from neighbors

scottsdale arizona underground houseEmbedded underground, the residential spaces surround the courtyard on all sides.

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an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 
an underground house in scottsdale, arizona is sheltered from the desert heat
 

ARCHITECTURE IN THE US (1301)

DBINSTAGRAM (2229)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS (2803)

UNDERGROUND ARCHITECTURE (83)

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