Brittlebush is an experimental desert dwelling for winter residents at the Taliesin West campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. It was designed and developed by graduate student Simón De Agüero. Simón envisioned the design to be an open-air living space with a protective roof and low walls.
A steel structure frames three-inch rammed-earth walls surrounding a patio, fireplace and bed. The masts and anchors on the structure adaptively accommodate a 150 square-foot roof membrane of shade-cloth or vinyl. The bed platform is situated above a fireplace for passive winter heating. The social patio and meditative zen garden are designed to integrate with the larger whole.
Approximately 90% of the steel in the project was salvaged from the school scrap yard;100% of the earth for the walls was from the school property;100% of the wood used for the formwork was salvaged from onsite renovation waste. This design concept includes an indoor-outdoor terrace for drinks with friends, or a quiet retreat to sit down and read a book.
Erik Krautbauer, a student in the Bachelor program at the School, was the assistant project manager. The project was supervised by Taliesin faculty and fabrication expertise provided by the principals of Tenshon (www.tenshon.com).
The structure can be visited on the student-led Taliesin West Desert Shelter Tour, Saturdays at 1:30, mid-November through mid-April.
Photo 2010 Simón De Agüero
Nathaniel Allen, Dakotah Apostolou, Thai Blackburn, Jillian Brooks, William Brunson, Chelsea Clark, Emil Crystal, Simon DeAguero, Matthew Dickerson, Daniel Dillow, Dave Frazee, Saul Glass-Siegel, Jeff Graham, Christopher Gritzmacher, Saskia Jorda, Aaron Kadoch, Erik Krautbauer, Annett Marsico, Marietta Pagkalou, Todd Lehmenkuler, Austin Mahoney, Russell Mahoney, Brian Maxwel,, Marli Post, Taryn Seymour, Skye Whitman, Chris Williams, Hui Ee Wong
Special thanks to project supporters:
Tenshon (Membrane Fabrication) www.tenshon.com