While driving by some addresses provided to me from a past mid-century modern tour map, I noticed the use of rammed earth – not adobe. As well as board-formed concrete walls. Not that there weren’t more earth-toned stucco walls and plenty of Pueblo-revival or Santa Fe-style homes, too.

For this post, I’m interested in the visual qualities of layering, and how it adds a pleasing testure.

Photos from Borrego Springs CA, mid-January 2014 –

note the distant mountains…visual layering of lower to higher mountains…

house entry wall…2 wall heights layer, rammed earth layers show, too…
HomePatio_Borrego-Layered EarthWall-Sml
contemporary house with a board-formed concrete patio courtyard wall…deep shade inside, open to breezes

4 Replies to “Layering”

  1. I often think only of layering with plants, not with hardscape features or borrowed distant views. Something to think about.

    Layering is a great tool I don’t use enough, to contrast rounded or irregular forms…


  2. I like these photos, especially as they relate to the first distant mountain shot. The palette of colors is so different than here in New England.

    When I caught glimpses of those mountains, I had to laugh how they related to the walls. Yes – something to the light in the desert, even mid-“winter”.


  3. I like both walls. I admire the appearance of the boundaries that remain on display between the rammed earth layers as well as the ghosts of the grain from the wood framing used for the concrete walls. To my eye those lines soften the walls, help erase their artificiality. The linear detail left visible moves them into the landscape rather than their looking they were simply placed on top.

    Me too, both so different but so grounded to their area. You said that really well, beyond how I was thinking how to describe each. Much more to show from that quick visit to Borrego…


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