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Tree House

Joshua Tree, CA

A residence in the unique landscape of Joshua Tree National Park, exploring various types of efficiency.


This house is set between two large mounds facing a distant, western view. The original casita had been altered several times in a haphazard manner and we were hired to create simple forms, open volumes and a low-maintenance house.


The client wanted us to frame special views but not panoramas to encourage people to go outside to experience the landscape as vignettes. The main addition is a cube 25 feet on each side. Adjacent to that is a long, narrow storage building with a roof deck.


Three young architects teamed with us to design and construct this project. This project explores various types of efficiency, experiments with technique, and modulates space and light. We used the design-build process as a teaching method to explore ways of building inexpensively and efficiently.

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