The architectural firm founded by Frank Lloyd Wright has been commissioned to design two model homes that will showcase a custom home-site project being developed by the Marriott Corp. in Palm Desert.
The single-story houses--with 3,600 and 4,300 square feet of living area--are scheduled to be built beginning Feb. 1 at Marriott's 34-lot Desert Springs Estates. The houses will be on half-acre lots facing the golf course of the firm's new 242-acre Desert Springs Resort & Spa near Country Club Drive and Cook Street.
Lots will sell for $240,000 to $540,000, according to Phyllis Thompson, marketing director for the residential development.
Using Native Materials
John Rattenbury, senior architect at Taliesin West Associated Architects, Scottsdale, Ariz., said the design of the two houses will "reflect the Wright philosophy of using materials native to the site and creating an environment that transcends indoor/outdoor delineation and eliminates the use of corridors within the structure."
The Taliesin firm is named after Wright's summer and winter headquarters at Spring Green, Wis., and Scottsdale, Ariz., respectively.
An Oct. 1 completion is planned for the two houses, which are expected to be valued at about $1.8 million for the larger one and $1.3 million for the 3,600-square-foot house, including the land, Thompson said.
"Both are wide open, indoor-outdoor plans to accommodate entertainment life styles," she added. "We believe corporate executives and resort-oriented buyers will be building custom homes attuned to the active social scene on the desert."
Home-site purchasers will select their own architects and builders to create houses that will be required to meet strict architectural standards, Thompson said. Although residences will be limited to one story, allowances over a portion of the living area will permit split-level design. The minimum size is 2,600 square feet, she added.
Barbara Lockhart of Barbara Lockhart Inc., Beverly Hills, will design the interior of the larger house, which will have four bedrooms. Beverly Trupp of Color Design Art, Pacific Palisades, will design the decor of the 3,600-square-foot, twin-master-bedroom house.
Access to Golf Courses
Charles Mueller of the Mueller Co., Beverly Hills, will act as liaison with Marriott's Architecture and Construction Division and coordinate the building of the model homes by the Strother Construction Co., Palm Desert.
The project's landscape architect, Irvine-based Lifescapes Inc., designed an elaborate gated entry to the resort's residential area, incorporating citrus trees and Jacarandas.
Desert Springs Estates will have access to the resort's two Ted Robinson-designed golf courses, 10 tennis courts and extensive spa facilities. Property owners will be able to use the 892-room resort's housekeeping, room service and catering facilities.
The Desert Springs Estates project marks Marriott's entry into the development of land around a major resort property, Thompson said. She formerly was in charge of condominium sales at Marriott's Essex House on Central Park South in New York City.
The program--which produced $26 million in sales from 1974 on--was discontinued after Marriott sold the Essex House to Nikko Hotels last year, she added.