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Azure's July/August 2019 Issue cover

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At the heart of the 57-unit apartment building is a passive solar design strategy. Given the project’s location in the dry and blistering heat of the Coachella Valley, controlling the interior temperature was a priority. Brooks + Scarpa positioned the building to harness solar cooling loads and maximize exposure to prevailing winds. To boost the interior’s comfort and energy-efficiency, the firm integrated shading onto the south-facing windows and kept the west side minimally glazed.

Situated at the base of the valley, the low-slung complex offers unobstructed views of the desert from patios and balconies. While its subtle material palette reflects the landscape, it also exemplifies the firm’s innovation in eco-materials. The building’s metal skin is locally fabricated from used aluminum cans. This eco-sensitivity is carried through to the interiors, which are insulated with recyled newspapers, equipped with water-saving dual flush toilets and outfitted in recycled-content carpet and all-natural linoleum flooring.

And then there are the amenities: a shared courtyard, bicycle racks and a swimming pool that will be heated by a rooftop hydronic solar panel. It’s no surprise that the building surpasses California’s mandated energy measures – the strictest in the U.S. – by over 30 per cent.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.