Frank Lloyd Wright coined the term ‘Organic Architecture’, which simply means architecture that becomes fluid with the nature around it.
Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world. This is achieved through design approaches so sympathetic and well integrated with a site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition.
When I got a call from my colleague about the Patel’s home in Fountain Hills I was excited because Fountain Hills is one of the most understated areas in the Phoenix area. Tucked away between Scottsdale and the Yavapai nation, it boasts the world’s 4th tallest fountain. Fountain Hills has a small town feel yet close to the major city of Phoenix where you still get the best of both worlds. When you attend one of their 3 annual festivals you feel like you’ve stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting
What I didn’t expect is for the home to have an extension of that feeling of calmness. The Patel’s couldn’t have picked a better spot to build their desert oasis. This soft contemporary masterpiece is not only a masterpiece of it’s own design but a haven for the budding creative, cultivator ‘art-preneur’, or an individual whose daily work life feels more like the super highway of chaos and congestion needing an escape at the end of the day.
Author and artist, Shona Patel, explains that we need to consciously ground ourselves and reminded herself of the humility we all need by building at the bottom of hill looking up, instead of at the top looking down at the rooftops.
Sitting at the sloping rise of stacked boulders you do just that. You look up, whether it’s at cascading boulders, the immense wildlife, the moon, or the few estates dotting the hills around you.
“The dynamics go further than the walls,” Shona Patel
When hosting events people tend to gather in the kitchen so the Patel’s designed the house with this in mind. With multiple levels to the home that becomes one with nature, the kitchen sits central to the home. Every attention to detail has been paid, even to the very precise and complimentary color of the walls to the tucked away shades for the windows. If you want views, there’s views from every corner of the house. The soft contemporary home has the perfect balance of all that’s right with architecture.
When the Patel’s were getting ready to break ground they came across an obstacle with a natural water way that flowed from the hillside. Instead of moving the direction of the water, they decided to build over it. Adjacent to the master bedroom is a Feng Shui sitting room that sits over this calming waterway, which also happens to attract the endless Arizona wildflife that Arizonans not only love to admire but have come to protect and cherish – right in your own backyard.
I never thought my artist world and my realtor world would collide in such a perfect marriage. Taking the time to tell the story of a home has not only made me come to appreciate real estate to a whole new level it’s also taught me something I often forget, to slow down. You would never forget that in this home. The privacy, the views, the calmness of it all – is a constant reminder to find our balance, our inner peace, and to cultivate our creative spirits.
In fact, it sparked the resting girl inside of me who yearns for that peace without even realizing it. I left this oasis of a home and felt more relaxed than I had in a long time. It was as if I had just had an entire day at the spa, instead of interviewing for an article. On Shona Patel’s desk is a jar of rocks that she paints when she hits the proverbial wall. Now, sitting on my desk, is a small pile of black river rocks that I, too, have begun to paint. Who knew a home could be such a retreat that inspires something to light up inside us?