Location: Indian Head Ranch, Borrego Springs, California
In the heart of North San Diego County, the 806 House stands as a beacon of desert modernism. Architect Richard Orne and Designer Susan Hancock meticulously designed this home to blend with the Anza Borrego Desert State Park’s rugged beauty. The structure is a thoughtful composition, raised slightly above the desert floor to capture the breathtaking views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
Borrego Springs: A Desert Oasis Under the Stars
Borrego Springs, recognized as the world’s second Dark-Sky Community, offers a rare celestial experience just a few hours from Southern California’s bustling cities. Richard Orne and Susan Hancock were drawn to this serene setting, prompting them to create a sustainable home that harmonizes with the dark sky ethos.
The 806 House: An Architectural Beacon
This sustainable abode extends 142 feet in length, showcasing deep overhangs that exemplify mindful desert architecture. Orne’s design adheres to dark sky guidelines with minimal outdoor lighting, ensuring a delicate footprint on the nocturnal environment.
A Lantern in the Desert
Embracing the Dark-Sky Community’s principles, the house is sparingly lit, its illumination akin to a gentle glow against the vast desert backdrop. The strategic lighting design features recessed LEDs and photosensors, contributing to the area’s preservation of natural darkness.
Inside the 806 House
The interior unfolds in five distinct zones, each one aglow with dimmable LEDs, allowing for selective lighting that conserves energy and minimizes light pollution. In the moon’s full splendor, the couple often opts for natural lunar illumination, forgoing artificial lights altogether.
The 806 House is not just a residence; it’s a commitment to ecological architecture and a tribute to the enchanting darkness of Borrego Springs’ skies.