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Desert Dream: An Architect-Designed, Off-the Grid Cabin in Joshua Tree

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Desert Dream: An Architect-Designed, Off-the Grid Cabin in Joshua Tree

January 23, 2020

It is bitterly cold in the Northeast this week, and I plan to stay indoors as much as I can, drinking hot tea, snuggling with my dog, and researching trips to warmer destinations. On my list: this solar-powered guesthouse in Southern California designed by Cohesion Studio.

Joshua Tree Folly sits on an abandoned homestead in the town of Twentynine Palms, just outside Joshua Tree National Park. It’s the brainchild of architect Malek Alqadi, who, after years of working at a firm and designing private residences for Hollywood VIPs, decided to strike out on his own. In stark contrast to the large, lavish projects he used to work on, Joshua Tree Folly is small (just two tiny cabins), humble (think plywood on the inside and salvaged steel on the exterior), and appealingly stripped-down (boulders and potted succulents are among the only decorative touches).

Here’s a peek.

Photography by Sam Frost, via Cohesion Studio.

The weathered steel cladding was salvaged from the original building on the property. The entire rental can accommodate up to six guests.
Above: The weathered steel cladding was salvaged from the original building on the property. The entire rental can accommodate up to six guests.
Between the two buildings is a soaking tub. Large boulders provide some privacy.
Above: Between the two buildings is a soaking tub. Large boulders provide some privacy.
The interior of the main cabin is lined with locally sourced, untreated plywood.
Above: The interior of the main cabin is lined with locally sourced, untreated plywood.
The open living area includes a kitchenette. Steel pipes were used to create a ladder that leads to the sleep loft.
Above: The open living area includes a kitchenette. Steel pipes were used to create a ladder that leads to the sleep loft.
The simple sleep loft.
Above: The simple sleep loft.
The bathroom with textured walls.
Above: The bathroom with textured walls.
An indoor shower that feels like an outdoor one thanks to boulders and an expansive window.
Above: An indoor shower that feels like an outdoor one thanks to boulders and an expansive window.
The smaller structure holds the open-air sleep loft, accessed by a ladder on the side of the building.
Above: The smaller structure holds the open-air sleep loft, accessed by a ladder on the side of the building.
The highlight of the rental—and the architect&#8
Above: The highlight of the rental—and the architect’s favorite feature of this project.
Another view of the open-air bedroom.
Above: Another view of the open-air bedroom.
Joshua Tree Folly is entirely powered by solar panels (to the right of the smaller cabin).
Above: Joshua Tree Folly is entirely powered by solar panels (to the right of the smaller cabin).

Next up for Alqadi: Folly Mojave, next to the Mojave National Preserve. Sited on a hundred acres of land, it’s a much larger project and will be able to accommodate 16 to 32 people. Stay tuned.

For more inspired desert retreats, see:

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