Joshua Tree, Calif., is in the middle of a white-hot real estate boom, partially driven by its proximity to Los Angeles, but also because of the popularity of vacation rental sites such as Airbnb. Hollywood A-listers and entertainment moguls have been pushing up prices in the artsy high desert community over the last few years and the Covid-19 pandemic has sent even more people to the desert in search of open space.
The town has long been known for cool, eccentric modern architecture, and this new build by Urban Architectural Space Group, called El Cemento Uno, is unique. Set on five acres of land that abuts 100 acres of preserve, which provides extreme privacy and seclusion, the ultra-modern pavilion is only five minutes away from the center of Joshua Tree. Asking $1.75 million, the property is listed with Troy Kudlac and the Stout Team, both at KUD Properties.
The simple rectangular form sits naturally next to the rugged boulders of the Mojave Desert. The desert is a precious and fragile environment, rife with birds, mammals, insects and lizards, so it’s important that the house preserves the natural landscape. And, indeed, the bunker-like building has been carefully sited to both preserve its surroundings and allow for the best mountain views, as well as optimizing natural light and breezes. Enormous panes of glass make the exterior feel part of the interior, for a relaxing, serene environment and a feeling of connection between humans and nature.
The building is constructed of RSG 3-D, a panel system consisting of a polystyrene core sandwiched between steel wire grids, which is then covered in concrete. The result is fireproof, and earthquake resistant, and, a very important quality in the extreme heat of the desert, energy-efficient. Inside, high-end details such as custom terrazzo tiles, rift cut oak doors and cabinetry, and electric window blinds make for a luxurious feel. The house began construction earlier in the summer and isn’t quite complete so the buyer should be able to choose some interior details, as well.
At 1,647 square feet, the house is modest in size. Still, with two master suites and an extra powder room, it makes for a perfect weekend getaway or vacation rental. Plus, the new owner’s Instagram feed is going to be epic.