Hollywood drama and desert architecture collide in this Madison Club home
Los Angeles architecture firm Kovac Design Studio creates Madison Desert Club, a vacation home in La Quinta’s legendary Madison Club
From afar, this vacation home in La Quinta’s legendary Madison Club looks understated — low and reverent, blending easily into its surroundings of open expanses and rocky California countryside. Yet as you approach, its tasteful exuberance and architectural drama unfold. Designed by Kovac Design Studio for a private client as an entertainment and vacation base, Madison Desert Club is a home that pays homage to both its arid environment and the iconic architecture of its region – such as the homes born in the Hollywood’s golden era in nearby Palm Springs, known for its architectural offerings, as seen in the annual Palm Springs Modernism Week.
This combination of desert architecture and Hollywood glamor provided valuable inspiration for the design team, as the Los Angeles-based studio team explains: “We looked at notable desert architecture around the world , and we were drawn to Jean Nouvel’s Louvre project in Abu Dhabi with its perforated canopy providing dappled light and the clustered building forms below resonate with what we had in mind for our own project. The specific pattern of our canopy, as well as its characteristic oculus, is reminiscent of cholla cactus wood.
This powerful cantilever, perforated with openings of different sizes – which create a sense of dynamism and moving shadows, similar to the shading of the tree canopy – defines outdoor spaces, sheltering terraces and walkways that seamlessly connect indoors and outdoors in the pleasant Californian climate. “The ever-changing pattern of light and shadow, the elements of surprise, and the remarkable sense of tranquility that quickly overwhelms all who visit [make this house special]’, say the architects. ‘We pride ourselves on making each of our projects truly unique creations that reflect the client’s program and the site; for us, this project has succeeded perfectly on both counts.’ The canopy also visually and physically connects the main living space to six surrounding “casitas”, with their independent guest rooms and terraces.
Throughout, water features, reflections, large openings, key furnishings (by B&B Italia and Knoll, among other brands) and art, such as a sculpture commissioned by Rogan Gregory, enrich the spacious indoor and outdoor spaces. . But what makes this Madison Club home a truly great home for entertaining is the suspended theater space placed above the ground-level bar. It features a motorized, moveable wall that doubles as a cinema screen, overlooking an equally spectacular double-height living space that’s perfect for partying. Meanwhile, the downstairs wellness area with spa and gym that opens onto a private garden provides the perfect post-party haven.
Between the house’s low forms, its natural material palette of plaster, wood, and stone, and its open gardens and climate-responsive design, the Madison Desert Club is a memorable retreat integrated into its surroundings. It has been designed to perfection around its location and the needs of the owners. “A real oasis in the desert”, conclude the architects. §