One of the joys of living in the Arizona desert is the dry warm weather and the opportunity to move life outside for most of the year. The indoor-outdoor lifestyle has brought us many visitors that end up staying here in the Sonoran Desert. There are a few key design elements that are essential to creating the perfect indoor-outdoor home that Urban Design has perfected through experience.
The first step is to understand the site and the climate. This is where Lee Hutchison and the UDA team have excelled. With over 35 years of practicing architecture and 50 years of living in the Valley of the Sun, there are not many places left unexplored by the adventurous architect. He spends time out on sites observing the sun, wind, and topography. Once all this information is gathered, it is expertly translated into the perfect site planning of UDA homes.
After the home is sited to capture the best sun orientation, local breezes, and views the internal rooms can be located within the floor plan to create the perfect flow of space from inside to outside. The trend to have open floor plans with great rooms that incorporate kitchen, dining, and living has become the standard. This type of room arrangement works well when creating large open spaces to the outdoors. Once the relationships between rooms are established these seemingly simple steps should be taken:
- Create an opening, preferably a very large opening
- Cover the exterior space, taking the ceiling plane outside
- Extend the floor surface, using the same material with as little interruption as possible
- Use the view to draw you outside
There is an art to indoor-outdoor lifestyle design that is best done with careful examination of both the environment and the home owner’s daily routine. While a well designed house should be remarkably beautiful, the daily functionality is what will make it truly a home.