An Indoor/Outdoor Prefab Blooms in the Palm Springs Desert
While Joel Turkel has built prefab homes all over North America and beyond, he hasn’t had the chance to live in one of his own designs. That will soon change.
The Axiom Desert House by Turkel Design is a 2,000-square-foot prefab currently under construction in Palm Springs, California. It’s also the latest collaboration in 12 years of partnership between Dwell and Turkel Design, and when completed, will become home to the Turkel family. Designing their future family home was a way for Joel and Meelena Turkel, founders of Turkel Design, to dive deeply into the design, building, and delivery process. Even though they’ve been creating homes for over a decade, there was still more to learn.
“We’ve been compelled by the idea of the living lab, a place where we would be able to try different techniques, different materials, different methods, but also have the latitude to design a place that combines all of the best techniques and features that we’ve learned over years and years in the business,” says Joel Turkel.
With sustainability and energy efficiency in mind, Turkel designed the home out of engineered wood; its construction doesn’t use any old growth timber: “It’s all fast-growing trees or material that otherwise would have been waste wood.” Photovoltaic systems will completely power the home, and sleek ceiling fans by The Modern Fan Co. will keep the home cool in the desert heat, reducing the need for air conditioning.
The location of Palm Springs itself, with its view of the San Jacinto mountain range, shaped the house. “We wanted a very strong connection to the outdoors. We viewed the outdoor living to be as important—if not more important—than the indoor living,” says Turkel.