The beauty of the Blue Sky prototype house resides as much in its location as the house itself. Situated in the Joshua Tree National Park in south eastern California, with piñon and juniper trees surrounding the structure and a seasonal stream running underneath, it is quite a spectacular environment in which to build a home.
Another point of interest about this location is that it is strikingly reminiscent of another we covered earlier this month, that of the Franklin Mountain House, with both houses built on a sheer hillside, amongst rough craggy terrain and surrounded by several large boulders.
But whereas the Franklin Mountain House made particular use of the surrounding materials, the materials used to build the Blue Sky House are much more distinct from its environment. Specifically, the whole build is prefabricated elsewhere, with the steel frame deriving from a factory in Sacramento.
However, this is not to say that the house eschewed concerns for the surrounding environment, quite the opposite. In creating the prototype house, co-owner of Blue Sky Homes David McAdam’s priority was to create something that was affordable and sustainable.
The prefabricated construction enables this by creating considerably less on-site waste during the construction. Furthermore, most of the rest of the materials that make up the building are recyclable, and features like the hydronic heating system push the house all but off-grid.
Turning to the interior, in contrast to a wood frame house, the flexibility of the steel frame removes the need for interior load-bearing walls. This allows for a light and airy space where half of the house is given over to a single room, encompassing kitchen, living room and dining room.
Meanwhile, the slight coldness of a steel structure is counterbalanced by a warm colour palette and understated furniture choices, in the vein of Danish modern. All of which makes for a really promising prototype. Here’s to more Blue Sky homes!
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Photos via O2 Architecture