As a Tuareg proverb reminds us: “God created lands full of water so people can live in and God created the desert so people can find their souls.” A recent book published by Phaidon, however, shows that the desert is not only a mysterious and fascinating place, where to spend a few days to meditate on the meanings of life, but also a place where it is possible to live permanently.
The volume entitled “Living in the desert” presents a selection of 50 elegant and original homes designed by well-known designers located almost everywhere in the world, from the United States to Europe, and from Asia to Australia. Designing an empty and infinite space is certainly a challenge for every architect; a challenge taken on by various artists thanks to the high degree of freedom it allows. Among these Andrea Zittel, from Joshua Tree in California, creator of the Spartan Wagon Station Encampment (2012), Doug Aitken who built Mirage (2017) in Palm Springs desert, a structure with both internal and external mirrors more similar to an art object rather than a house, furthermore the sculptor and conceptual architect Not Vital who in Aladab, Niger he designed the House to Watch the Sunset (2005), a monochromatic structure characterized by three large steps and a series of small windows from which one can admire the beautiful colours of the sky during sunset.
Above: Black Desert House, USA Oller & Pejic Architecture, 2013, Yucca Valley, CA, USA. Image credit © Marc Angeles