Looking like a set piece straight out of Goldfinger, this vacation house by architect Robert Stone looks simultaneously garish (in a cool, 1960s James Bond kind of way) and subtle, evoking something as commodified and glitzy as gold mirror to actually help it all disappear into its natural setting—an act that's all the rage in architectural circles these days. Plunked in the California deserts of Joshua Tree, Acido Dorado, as the project is called, flickers and morphs as the day progresses and the light changes, "blending into the landscape one moment then sparkling iridescent an hour later," as Apartment Therapy once wrote. Stone says it's all meant to "sit in the middle of a natural environment" while "confidently projecting the opposite of nature." Even inside the eye-watering paradox, there's little relief of the glitz.
Oddly enough, it's kind of hard to tell how much, if any, irony the architect operates with here. The one-story, architecturally low-profile structure hints at a midcentury modern inspiration, though the materials and simple persistence of the golden theme make it read like architectural camp. Striking, for sure, and Stone writes that Acido Dorado "doesn't pretend to be a big 'timeless' abstract sculpture." (Good thing he clarifies, too, because there's nothing that screams "timeless" quite like a jacuzzi looking out of a gold, heart-shaped window, a feature which he actually describes as "annoying.")
Apparently Acido Dorado is meant to "engage current fashion [and] art [in] its time and cultural context, to modify it and question it—then reflect it back charged with different meaning." He continues:
"Gold is impossible to separate from its connotations and consider abstractly—same with flowers and the annoying heart. I came up through the same architectural education and practice as everyone else, so I am well aware that my aesthetic vocabulary is 'different'—but with it I can do things that I could not do with abstract sculptural minimalism." What kind of weird things did he do? He welded butterflies and flowers onto otherwise skeletally minimal components and cover the refrigerator in fabric, or at least that's what Apartment Therapy writers reported seeing when they stayed at Acido Dorado.