Chance Encounters

The journey of the Escape House began when he was riding in the desert looking for the perfect spot and met Frank, his 80 year old neighbour. He purchased the lot from him, then after a chance encounter between Brooks and architect Luis Herrera the project got made. "I met him through motos," Brooks recalls, "and one day I told him about this crazy project that I had for the desert!”

Desert Design Decisions

As you approach the house on the dusty desert roads, you're greeted by the modern lines of the house and a selection of green desert cacti. The design intentionally blurs the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, inviting nature to become an integral part of everyday life through large glazed doors and windows. Brooks also made the bold decision to not install blinds or curtains to make one ‘deal with light’. 

Inside, clean lines and a generally neutral palette create a sense of homeliness, while outside, the arid landscape and rocky mountain backdrop create a contrasting but very calming effect. Architectural details, such as the carefully placed corner window, Corten steel cladding, and a black stained, rough hewn cedar and steel staircase add contemporary touches to the design, further enhancing its appeal.

The simple open-plan layout of the house is tailored for simple desert living, with strategically placed windows allowing light to flood in from every direction. Upstairs, the primary bedroom offers a quiet retreat, capturing the morning sun and fostering a sense of peace with its large window framing the mountain, and the Kandinsky balcony to peacefully sib on a coffee in the morning, overlooking the desert views.

Landscape Integration

But perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Escape House is its thoughtful integration with the surrounding landscape. From the choice of materials - such as Corten steel, designed to rust evenly and blend seamlessly with the desert terrain - to the strategic placement of windows, every element of the house is designed to both complement and enhance its natural surroundings.

Friendships Made

Brooks tells us that the journey of creating the Escape House was not just about building a home - it was about forging friendships and following dreams. From Brooks' wife, who supported him every step of the way, to Frank, the neighbour who sold him the property, and Luis, the architect who brought his vision to life, the Escape House is a testament to the power of collaboration and the beauty of shared dreams.