o2 Architecture / by JC Buck

Rancho Mirage, Ca

It's the week between Christmas and New Years weekend and I am doing a little house keeping. When you work in photography, it's easy for personal images to get put to the side and forgotten about. I was organizing my Dropbox account when I came across some 35mm scans from my local lab, Englewood Camera, that I haven’t done anything with. Included were some snaphots I had taken of Liz's brother's new construction Mid Century Modern inspired home in Rancho Mirage just outside of Palm Springs. We stayed there last year for a short three day vacation. I had my favorite film camera, a Nikon FE 35 mm SLR loaded with Kodak Ectar 100, a daylight balance rich color film with fine grain ideal for scanning. Although, I say the more grain the better! My critique of today's digital imagery, including my own, is it is too slick. I feel Film renders a more honest and emotional capture many times.

I only made a few photos and I captured them in a matter of a few minutes as I walked around the pool so forgive me for not showing more. Next time, I will make a more comprehensive documentation of this amazing home. The architect was Lance O'Donnell with o2 Architecture, a Palm Springs firm specializing in modern desert residential architecture with designs playing homage to the Mid Century Modern lines the city's architecture is famous for.

Back in Denver we have a nice healthy Mid Century preservation movement that has been in the works for years with internationally known MCM neighborhoods like Arapaho Acres and Krisana Park, but its rare to see new construction with MCM design elements. I guess we simply don't have the lots to design homes like these, forcing us to go multi level with rooftop decks for our outside spaces. As much as I love a good rooftop deck, they are typically disconnected from the kitchen and living rooms making them less accessible. Indoor outdoor connectivity is my favorite design characteristic of the typical low profile ranch home.

This house feels great. Like many MCM designs, the front is simple and modest, while the main interior spaces are lined with Nana unfolding glass wall doors that completely open up to the outside pool deck and stunning desert view. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking and didn't turn around to capture the inside/outside living room so you will have to take my word that it was pretty awesome. 

Until next time, check out o2 Architecture. Lance and company are creating great things down in the California desert. 

- JC

© JC Buck