Joshua tree rock junction II

glen howard small      aia architect            consultant :   jack rendler        june 2021

joshua tree village is functioning with  a deadly highway 62 running right though town to the largest marine base in the usa in 29 palms with an intersection at park blvd to joshua tree national park with 3 million visitors a year.

intersections in small towns are notorious for being disruptive and dangerous.  this project applicable to intersections throughout the usa.

the concept being a raised park to have multifunctional activities,  thus making a safe fun crossing to hang out,  in a town with no parks in the downtown. 

creating a destination point to explore the rebel arty community.
ramp, stair, elevator, restroom, and maintenance-security  room at each corner.

it is  green and socially conscious. all on caltrans street land, publicly owned.a philanthropic donor should find this public park of interest. 

thanks for your consideration.  


    • I agree,, some rich creepy guy did this project without the people of Joshua Tree being part of the discussion..
      It’s a mess… it’s ugly and it’s going to be dangerous and an expensive fix when it starts fluttering in the wind as it becomes tattered and worn out….

      • I don’t get it. Why can’t you act more civilly? Of course, you can express your feelings of not liking the plan, but why be so vicious and dismissive?

        Glen Small is a highly respected architect, and he is offering his expertise (for free) to solve a very important problem in Joshua Tree – how to get across the deadly highway in a safer fashion. For those who want to cross the highway safe, beautiful way.

        And yes, I do think the design compliments the desert hills in your area. And yes, I am the daughter of the architect but I would say this either way. You don’t have to use it.

    • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Often artwork is misunderstood. This is a clever proposal to deal with a real problem we have. It could potentially save lives. Glen Small designed our home which we are very happy with and I support his work.

  1. How about a resource center for our children or homeless instead? This “junction is pointless.” We have bigger needs.

  2. Well, it’s an interesting concept, although our area is in dire need of some other projects that could make better of the money. Yes, we have had numerous highway fatalities, but would those people have chosen this (whichever) one location to cross, rather than where they actually crossed over.

  3. A shock for travelers for the first time approaching the structure: a nature-built bypass! a rock formation. Curious enough to stop and get inside, expecting confined environment of natural caves. Surprise! The wings to take you places of your imagination; a palace to break the fast rhythm of the day, a park! Clearly a genial work as expected from Glenn.
    I hope, actually, this will be realized so that an art of this magnitude with timeless functionality can adorn the beloved city.

    • hi mahmut,

      thanks for moving poem on the park, yes it is uplifting and spiritual.
      there is a dimension in nature that soothes one soul, thus, this
      made to inspire and bring happiness and joy with a practical life saving need.

      the obvious village center to enhance the community.


  4. This is a bridge I’d like to cross and take my time doing so.
    It’s an amazing example of form and function merging in a fantastic way!
    We are blessed to have an Architect, Glen Small, who is socially conscious and beyond talented!
    Let’s make this happen.

  5. comment by Ahde Lahti

    Joshua Tree Rock Junction II

    If one were to look for a reason to build a safety bridge in an intersection of Joshua tree, there is no better reason than to make life easier for the pedestrian.

    I have been a walker, a runner and a bicyclist, and a motorist; which subjects you to every strange and dangerous encounter with automobiles.

    I love the fact that Glen is designing this overpass with a beautiful, sensitive perspective which adds to the desert aesthetic.

    There is a difference between seeing a new form and recognizing the “look” as beautiful. We tend to judge new forms with the only vocabulary we have in our past understanding: example; the VW car was considered ugly when it was introduce to our roads in the 50’s. But because of it’s dependability and value, it soon assumed a new appreciation of form.

    There is an inherent mistrust of “the new,” we tend to rely on past visual comfort zones. The thought that we could ever agree on what is beautiful, is impossible. We all have different experiences which inform our feeling of beauty. The object that we are viewing does not have “beauty,” we place that perception on it and it varies by how our perception were originally formed. So to look at Glen’s structure, we have to rely on our own perceptions not those in the “architecture.” We create the perception in our own minds.

    I will say that I really admire and respect the project Glen has presented, and in my mind it has a function, which I will call beautiful.

    One cannot put an external value on longevity. A “design” will by it’s physical presence, endure the pressures of time, the patina is both physical and mental.

    To have an enduring presence, our value of the project has to grow with our realization of the continuing development of our own experiences. They should grow together, if not we will lose interest in the project and move on. I feel that once this is built, the experience will educate our appreciation of the physical beauty of what Glen has designed. It is now and will have lasting beauty!

    Ahde Lahti

  6. I have heard about this project and think it’s really interesting. I go to lots of art events right in this area and have literally “run” across the 62 hwy more than once to get to both sides. I think the idea of a walking bridge is awesome and could totally work. As for it being “ugly” I think it’s pretty and natural and better than say, a big concrete and metal slab! I do wonder how it would hold up in this climate though. I have seen negative comments about this project and wonder why folks have to resort to being so immature when posting that they don’t like it. There are more respectful and thoughtful ways to discuss. Have some class!

  7. I don’t believe people are being “vicious” in opposition to this proposed project, but it is so inappropriate and ugly that it deserves to be dismissed and ridiculed. There’s nothing wrong with a pedestrian bridge over the highway, but this design looks like the aftermath of a major earthquake. It is a monument to an architect’s ego and the only good thing about it is that it will probably remain a proposal rather than become a reality. Whether one uses it or not isn’t the point; if this horrid monstrosity were in fact built, we’d still have to look at it.

  8. Hi Glenn,

    There is a lot of work that has gone into your proposal above.

    While I think a different approach would be best to solving our issue here in Joshua Tree, hats off to you for going for it.

    David Irwin/ Terra Projects

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