Originally built in 1939, this flat-roofed Art Moderne house with a curved, speed-striped stucco wall, nautical-inspired detailing including a porthole window, and a prominent front door was purchased in 2013 by new owners who wanted to restore it and increase square footage while remaining respectful of the designated heritage building’s past.
Near Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Richard Orne designed a single-family residence for himself and his designer wife, Susan Hancock, in one of only two “dark sky” communities—areas designated to minimize light pollution and preserve the natural darkness of night skies—in the U.S.
The owners, a retired couple in their 70s, commissioned Mork-Ulnes Architects to design a vacation house for them, their children, and grandchildren: three ski-loving generations whose older members have been skiing in the area since the 1940s.
Building on a vast landscape with views of the Rocky Mountains and Long’s Peak, the architects designed a house that takes advantage of the unique site–which includes a wetland with a stream and a lake surrounded by an alfalfa field–while reinterpreting traditional materials and agrarian forms.
The clients wanted their second home in the foothills of the Serra da Estrela mountain range to be spacious, peaceful, quiet, and open to the outdoors, with views of the dramatic landscape as well as the nearby vineyards, pines, and olive trees.