Project Specifications 

  • Project Name: Echo Canyon Residence 
  • Architect: Kendle Design Collaboration 
  • Project Area: 3900 sq. ft 
  • Project Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona 
  • Country: United States
  • Project Year: 2018

Camelback Mountain is a solid big mountain resembling the shape of a hump and head of a kneeling camel. It is a prominent landmark situated in Phoenix, Arizona which also acts as the natural scenic background for the project site. A home on no-setbacks with a wedge-shaped site for an empty-nester couple, this residence captures the detailed views of Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon which gives a natural backdrop to the design that adds more beauty to its aesthetics. 

Kendle Design Collaboration has made a deliberate effort in balancing the solid geometry and angles with the curved lines and elements of the design. This particular house beholds perfectly sequenced layers of transparency and opacity. 

Echo Canyon Residence main gate

The first element one witnesses is a curved wall cladding with sandblasted glass panels which veils a picturesque courtyard that is a house to a variety of native plants and trees like Yuccas, Agaves and Ironwood trees. The ironwood tree creates a natural pattern of light and shadow on the walkway which leads to the entrance of the house.

These plants and trees form a part of native landscaping in the project as these species are native to the hot and dry parts of America. Native landscaping can be considered as a conscious sustainability technique as the local trees and plants do not require extra maintenance to survive and bloom. This in turn creates a sense of blend between the surroundings and this residence. 

Echo Canyon Residence living room with furniture and a fire place

Upon entering, one witnesses the artistic touch-driven while designing the foyer, as the foyer walls are filled with art, along these art-filled walls one experiences a living space that leads to a transparent and open great room with its facade constructed of a 14 feet tall glazing.  This features a solid mountain and overall creates a magnificent, natural scenery in the great room.

There is an equilibrium of light, transparency, solid and natural views. A linear skylight on the other side of the great room also assists the space to absorb natural sunlight, and there is a sequence of shadow patterns formed due to the design of the roof structure.

Echo Canyon Residence  covered patio

The ceiling pattern continues from interiors to the exterior spaces where it holds the fittings for mechanical and electrical services. The concept of extending the ceiling from interiors to the exterior gives a sense of continuity in spaces, thus establishing a relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces. It creates a seamless transcend that opens up to nature in simplistic ways. 

Echo Canyon Residence patio with two chairs and a table

The covered terrace has an oculus allowing it to act as a sunspot for the patio and yard which accommodates an area for an informal gathering for communal events. This spot gets a clear view in the direction of The Praying Monk. The yard is a playing area for the grandchildren and dogs with a natural desert palette along with the rust coloured walls. 

Echo Canyon Residence with a mountain in the background

The sandblasted glass panels can be seen acting as a screen between the street and the parking spots. A linear fire pit in the backyard lights up space in the evening and creates a warm, cosy atmosphere. Patios and lawns act as a continuation of the living area but are divided through a sliding glass door, which creates a protected and secure connection between these spaces.

Echo Canyon Residence with a fire pit in front of it

Kendle Design Collaborative believes in creating homes as per the site context and natural elements. For the Echo Canyon Residence, the design team laid importance on the key term ‘Authenticity’ through ‘Regional Modernism’, where a residence is designed with the local or regional context. As a result, the designs created have a timeless living architectural context. 

Echo Canyon Residence dining room table with a bowl

This composition of solid and curved geometry complements and balances each other along with the perfectly laid layers of opacity and transparency. There is a concept of the indoor-outdoor relationships created in various spaces.

The orientation based on the natural views and magnificent natural backdrop has enhanced the aesthetics of the house along with the artificial aesthetics created through the material palette and design. 

Echo Canyon Residence kitchen with a center island with four stools

The design responds to the site surroundings of solid rock and mountains and in return, it enhances the user experience. There is a smooth flow from interiors to the exterior spaces with minimal obstructions and it helped to lay the foundation of the intimate relationship between the built environment and its surroundings  

Echo Canyon Residence walkway leading to a house with a statue in front of it
Echo Canyon Residence kitchen with a table, chairs and a counter
A modern home with a large lawn and patio
A house in the desert with mountains in the background

Final Words

This was due to the elements like – flowing spaces, large glazings providing magnificent views, skylights allowing external natural light penetrating the interior spaces, patios and lawns with native landscaping with nature enveloped around. The design is a timeless take on nature-oriented architecture by blending itself in the surroundings, and what better place to do this than the magnificent backdrop of Camelback Mountain.

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