by: KC Morgan
Nestled between the Dead Sea and the Judean Mountains in Israel, the Desert Home is an incredible creation meant to exist in perfect harmony with nature.
Esther Sperber, New York City architect and designer with Studio ST Architects, designed this sustainable, energy-efficient home. The design was created to have as little impact on the environment as possible. The minimalist design is gleaming white while clean lines and simplistic shapes blend beautifully with the surrounding landscape.
One of the main goals of the project was to create a climate-responsive design that is energy efficient. The location was a key factor. In fact, the home is partially sheltered from the sun and positioned for cross-ventilation that creates natural cooling and heating. The walls are therefore heavily insulated. The sun-bleached sand stucco exterior reflects the heat of the desert sun. Meanwhile, the colors of the mountains are echoed in the bleached stucco.
The roof has a passive solar energy system to harness the sun’s power, so this system is used to heat water. A gray water system is used to irrigate the garden as water is always a challenge in any desert environment.
The house also provides impressive views of the Israeli desert. It creates a seamless environment that makes the outside world part of the home’s interior. Expansive views of the natural world surround the home. Additionally, the floors are covered with porcelain tiles that stay cool even in hot desert temperatures.
Inside, black and white play against each other, with black window and door frames and glossy black counters playing against the white, sun-reflecting interior. Natural wood elements, like the ceiling fan and tables, also add warmth to this dazzling, contrasting interior design.
The rocky, desert landscape in the background creates its own backdrop, framing the house under the endless desert sky. This home creates a connection to nature and lives in harmony with nature, giving back what it takes from the environment.