The theatricality of the desert’s mood swings requires an equally dramatic setting from which to view them. That is how designers John G. Martin and David P. Turner approached a modernist Scottsdale retreat originally designed by architect Linc Taylor.
The angularity of the home — which is sheathed in steel-framed curtain walls of glass and supported by rustic stacked stone walls — already establishes a stark contrast to the landscape, but Martin covered a prominent sheetrock pantry with Shou Sugi Ban, a paneling of wood that is charred black to preserve it.
“It created this very dramatic wood-like presence that was very sculptural and cube-like,” explains Martin, who continued this material around the kitchen wall and in both directions down the hall.
The use of Shou Sugi Ban also sparks a conversation about the blackened-steel framing of the house, as well as with art that leans heavily toward graphic and gestural black-and-white works. Ethnic pieces–a hollowed-out palm tree stump, chunky Dogon ladders and Balinese doors–speak both to the monochromatic palette (most are dark to the point of near blackness) and also the rough-hewn character of the flagstone. These also heighten the sense of texture and bring irregular forms to the tailored silhouettes of contemporary furnishings.