For those of you who ever doubted the power of modern architecture, it can re-frame your desires and teach you about the importance of simplicity. This astonishing courtyard house in Scottsdale, Arizona, proves that a clean, functional design can support an inspiring effect on the interior and exterior atmosphere. Designed by Wendell Burnette Architects, the captivating desert courtyard house constructed from soil excavated from the site will stay with you as a reminder of the beauty that can be created in this world.

Designers see this massively beautiful residential structure as “a mass of concrete and rammed earth walls that meet the sky without termination.” Weathered steel covers the roof, continuing the rammed walls up and making the home appear hidden in the landscape :”when seen from above, recedes into the landscape as a deep shadow.”

A central courtyard provides a piercing design. During hot desert days, it floods the interiors with light while showcasing its glass facades mirroring the sky and surrounding vegetation. The resulting effect is a stunning play of shadow and light. At night, this interior courtyard becomes something magical, capturing lights from the inside and allowing the steel plate ceiling inside to visually merge with the night sky.

According to the architects, the spectacular desert home was created to be enjoyed as a work of art inspired by geometry and the natural world:

“Mass, hollowed mass, faceted mass, fissured mass, and mass that cracks open and hinges apart informed how we proceeded to give this home its defining qualities all the way down to the fittings and fixtures that one touches with the hand or the eye. For instance, all the millwork is volumetric concealing its thinness until a bronze void is touched with the fingertips revealing its smooth, contoured surface allowing the mass to be cracked open revealing contents within. Fissures in the steel ceiling reveal light while maintaining the quality of nothingness at night. One can also push open a massive translucent stone to take an outdoor shower in a private faceted court. Mass and the improbability of delicacy discovered within, is what gives the Sonoran Desert its remarkable presence.”

Last but not least, an infinity edge pool visually spilling into the desert extends an invitation to spending time outdoors. Some might find it too transparent, but it was ingeniously designed to be private and cozy. Maybe this black desert mansion suits your taste more.