a living lab -Palm Springs

Designed to be “simple, elegant and replicable”, the home serves as the private residence of Joel and Meelena Turkel, founders of Boston-based Turkel Design. The studio specialises in creating upscale homes using prefabricated elements. The Turkels purchased the Palm Springs property several years ago and set out to create a new home for their family that capitalises on the region’s sunny climate and allows for indoor-outdoor living.
The residence is also intended to serve as a living lab that enables the Turkels to test out new materials and processes – and “to turn the lens on themselves as both designers and clients”. To fabricate and outfit the home, the couple teamed up with two dozen companies from around North America and Europe, ranging from lighting and furniture suppliers to a living wall designer.
The home features a post-and-beam structure and prefabricated wall panels. All framing and sheathings material are made of engineered wood. For the facades, the team used stucco, concrete block and thermally modified birch.
Inside, there are distinct zones for living, sleeping and working. The master suite lines one side of the house, while a den and kid’s bedroom occupy the other. At the center of the plan is an office and open-plan public space.
The connection to the exterior is enhanced by a seating element referred to as the Living Platform. Adorned with cushions, the platform stretches from the living room to a rear patio, and is divided by pocket doors that can easily open up.
The designers aimed to use more sustainable materials throughout the dwelling, including thermally treated ash for ceilings and engineered poplar for cabinetry.
Double-pane windows were strategically placed in order to mitigate solar heat gain during the hot summer months, while still capturing views of the mountains and ushering in natural light. Designed to be a net-zero-energy building, the home has rooftop solar panels that generate power. The designers said the residence consumes no fossil fuels, with the exception of a barbecue grill that uses propane.

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