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Location: Joshua Tree, California Date of Completion: 2017 Program: Vacation rental and art gallery Size: 800 SF Cost of Work: $80/sf (new construction); $65K total
Constructed in concordance with Keep It Dirty, Volume 2, this flexible single-family residence accommodates programs and occupancies ranging from second residence and vacation rental to art gallery, restaurant, and roadside retreat. This follows its germination and intended use as the physical “second volume” for an extant, experimental, online-only multimedia platform dedicated to ecology and new ways of living; once completed, the structure will host several site-specific exhibit-installations as well as live music and performance events, while simultaneously functioning as on-demand short-term vacation rental housing (available through Airbnb).
The design of the home utilizes a number of strategies to produce a compelling, ecologically appropriate residential environment, while also keeping construction costs 60% below the national average. Though apparently complex, the structure’s approximately square floor plan minimizes slab perimeter and exterior surface area to cut costs. In addition, a constrained material palette of ready-made and unfinished surfaces along with limited application of high-impact, custom-manufactured wall treatments bequeaths the structure a raw but pleasant aesthetic that is both inexpensive to construct and resonates its rustic, resort environment. Furthermore, the light wood frame construction design explicitly follows the Guidelines for Single-Family Residential Construction in San Bernardino County set by the San Bernardino Coutny Building and Safety Division, allowing for additional economy and rapid issuance of a building permit without the involvement of additional architects or engineers. Finally, select incorporation of exterior program areas – including a dramatic entry porch and small rear terrace – as well the inclusion of dramatic architectural window boxes, heightens drama while blurring phenomenological divisions between the structure and the landscape, without compromising the comforts necessary for habitation in this extreme desert setting.