wonder valley ca. 2000
wonder valley, east of 29 palms largest marine base in the usa. the hot spot retreat for artists , written up in the new york times etc. having your own 5 acres to do whatever. a visual mess, out of control. the abused desert yelling for restoration.
design concept : to restore an existing homesteader shack to compliment the desert beauty. building with recycled lumber on site augmented with scrounged materials as needed. portable systems as much as possible.
the shack a gathering place to bring people together .
a common sight in the desert here, because of historical land grants, if one developed a shack.
wonder valley having one of the darkest skies in the usa for star gazing,
the foot print of concrete slab on grade respected. the walls topped with an observatory roof where one can lay back against the slanted railing walls for viewing , that also shades the building.
all the functional needs: kitchen, bathroom, dining, living and sleeping on existing slab. the walls pierced with triangle windows that frame the surrounding mountains and sky.
a snug retreat from sun, floods, and desert wild life.
wing walls to block the wind.heated with stoves on both levels using drift wood prevalent in the washes in the area
off grid systems: solar panels recycled gray water, composting toilet, etc. a desert dream waiting to happen.
homesteader shack in plan not changed. new overhangs, wing walls and stairs to observatory roof.
roof top observatory with slanted railing to lay back and see the high quality dark sky.
the prickly theme of spiked triangles to emulate the desert. wood frame with heavy fire retardant multi-colored stucco finish.
a kitchen bar on arrival side shaded by overhanging roof. with stair to observatory roof.
a minimum out structures with an open trellis over patio slab connecting the roofs. flowing with the surrounding mountain patterns.
a non permanent hyperbolic sun shade for group gatherings make from rebar with bolted clip joints. bolted to 6’ permanent concrete caissons in soil.shading mesh clipped to rebar.
wind walls that folded in place from diagonal cut sheets of 4×8 plywood hinged together. held down with rebar steel stakes snapped to wind walls at fold points.
restroom with shower using wind wall folds to create a spiral restroom for privacy and wind.
I enjoy the Wonder Valley shack.
David Irwin/ Terra Projects