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Idyll In The Desert

A Glass Home In Palm Springs Basks In The Landscape's Raw Beauty

March 18, 2007|Barbara Thornburg






Realtor Andy Linsky found his dream view seven years ago when a broker asked the architectural properties specialist if he might have a buyer for a nondescript home in the Little Tuscany Estates neighborhood of Palm Springs. He took a look, then bought the teardown for himself when he saw its 50-mile vista. "I was living in the Jack Benny estate at the time," says Linsky, "and I loved it. But exceptional view lots are more and more rare. I had to have it."

Located on a slope above a 50-foot outcrop in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, Linsky's new home overlooks the swaying palms of the Old Las Palmas neighborhood; in the distance the Salton Sea rides the horizon like a mirage.

Local architect Ana Escalante designed the stunning split-level desert home with a north/south orientation to take advantage of the raw beauty of the desert. Visitors step down from the foyer into a spacious living room with a 32-foot-long glass wall made from two sets of triple sliders. Because of the steel beams hidden in the ceiling and upper roof, the glass wall is uninterrupted by columns. Above, six clerestory windows bring in additional light.

Down the hall, the master bedroom, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and terrace with a glass railing, has a seamless view of the desert. "Rabbits, gray squirrels and coyotes often wander by," says Linsky, who shares the home with life partner and salon owner Michael Thomas.

Open-weave solar shades, hidden in the soffit, drop down to help keep the desert temperatures and light in check. In addition, Escalante used high-performance Solarban 60 Low-E glass throughout the home. More than 50% of the dwelling is glass, with glass making up 90% of the south-facing wall. "The coating of film between the glass layers allows in light but reflects the harmful ultraviolet rays," explains Escalante, who says she pushed glazing technology to its extreme. "It's the home with the most glass in Palm Springs"--and without a doubt, a home with one of the best views.

"I love the peace and quiet of the desert," adds Linsky. "When the sun dips behind the mountain, shadows cast on the valley floor change every few seconds--like a piece of kinetic art."


Percentage of glass: 50%

Glazing: SolarBan 60 Low-E glass

Highlight: clerestory windows


Architect's Advice: "Make sure your architect takes time to understand the site, the seasons of the year, the climatology. Once you know the property at all hours of the day you can reveal it. Also, it helps if your architect falls in love with the site . . . you'll get a great home with a view."--Ana Escalante



Architect: Ana Escalante, Escalante Architects, Palm Springs, (760) 323-1925, Fabrication: All windows use Solarban 60 Low-E glass by PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh, (888) PPG-GLAS,

Guest studio: Cornerless slider (a.k.a. sliding door) and glass sliders, at right, by Fleetwood Windows & Doors, Corona, (800) 736-7363, Living room: Two pairs of triple-glass sliders by Fleetwood. Six fixed clerestory windows above sliders by United States Aluminum, Vernon, (800) 766-6063, Bathroom: Dual sliders by Fleetwood. Storefront glass windows by United States Aluminum. Awning window by Milgard Windows, Temecula, (800) MILGARD,

Master bedroom: Floor-to-ceiling glass sliders by Fleetwood; installation by Henry's Glass, Bermuda Dunes, (760) 360-2800,

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