This project is a renovation and addition to a custom-built home built in 1954 at the base of San Jacinto Mountain in Palm Springs, California. The original layout, post-and-beam construction, wall of custom wooden windows and unique architectural detailing are reminiscent of Cliff May’s iconic Rancho homes, yet the original architect is unknown.
Architects: Duane Smith
The primary goal with the program was to maintain the unique character of the original structure while upgrading the home to be more energy efficient, spacious and functional. Square footage was more than doubled, but the street presence was kept minimal. The new L-shaped footprint wraps around an entry courtyard and was inspired by classic ranch homes of the Southwest. A new pool and patio off the main living area as well as private outdoor spaces off each bedroom create a uniquely Californian experience.
The original siting of the house fully considered the desert sun, keeping the main living area and window wall in shade for most of the day with deep eaves and a Northwest exposure. The addition extrapolates on the thoughtful siting and fully considers the home’s desert location.
The material palette is inspired by the desert – raw, harsh, but minimal. Rusted steel fencing and courtyard walls compliment a crisp sand-colored stucco, while the dark wood windows mirror the rust and add warmth and sophistication.
Duane Smith has over two decades of creative and business experience spanning a breadth of industries from apparel to architecture to consumer goods. He studied industrial design at Carleton University and sustainable architecture at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. In 2001, Duane co-founded Vessel which designed and distributed a range of award-winning, innovative housewares and electronics products including the well-recognized Candela rechargeable lights. Over the past decade, Duane has lead design and innovation for the Adidas Group and Targus, managing diverse cross-functional teams throughout Asia and North America. In 2015, he founded Hundred Mile House, an architectural design and development practice based in California. As co-founder of SmithBarbeau, he drives creative leadership improvement for global brands such as P&G, Uggs, and Bose. He’s also currently an adjunct professor at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles.
Hundred Mile House is a residential architectural design practice founded in 2006 by Duane Smith. He’s an award-winning industrial designer with a passion for architecture and beautiful environments. After 20 years as an entrepreneur and designer of everything from lighting to apparel to homes, he brings a breadth of knowledge and a unique perspective to residential environments.
Starting with a brownstone rehab in Boston’s South End, followed by a desire to create a weekend escape within a couple of hours of this home drew him to the natural beauty and rich architectural heritage of Wellfleet on Cape Cod. Then, a loft in LA and a retreat in the desert setting of Palm Springs, with its own strong modernist history, finally seeded the idea of ‘Hundred Mile House’, where Duane is now helping others realize their own dreams of escape and inspiration, whether as primary residences, vacation homes, or investment properties.
Hundred Mile House leads all phases of architectural design and development, from concept to construction management to custom furnishings.
Smith began exploring a career as an architect at the age of 9, literally jumping back and forth between building blocks and the drawing board. By the age of fifteen, his home designs were being built in rural Newfoundland, Canada. Since then, he’s studied sustainable architecture at the historic Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany and continued to design both residential and commercial environments for clients and his own ventures. In 2001, Duane co-founded Vessel which designed and distributed a range of award-winning housewares products including the well-recognized Candela rechargeable lights. He’s also currently an adjunct professor at Otis College of Art & Design.