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All images courtesy Crosby Doe Associates, Inc.
Location: Yucca Valley, California
A shard-shaped retreat in the Mojave, the Black Desert House inspires the kind of fervor normally reserved for similarly colored sacred objects. This abstract spiral of boulders and blackened steel was initially conceived of as a shadow, a physical embodiment of the long silhouettes lazily stretching across the landscape. The original owner, designer Marc Atlan, found himself obsessed with a 2.5-acre plot in Yucca Valley, a short drive west of Joshua Tree. Dynamited by a previous builder seeking to set up their own perch atop the high desert landscape, the site presented Atlan and architects Oller & Pejic with the same problem that stymied previous developments: connecting any new structures to access roads for emergency vehicles. But after a year of plotting, the designers found a solution that helped make their plans for this 1,550 square-foot home a reality.
Wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass, the three-bed, two-bath home frames the desert, with a pool and angled deck that juts out like the prow of a ship. The black walls and façade aren't as much negative space as a blank canvas; the landscape and a few well-placed pieces of furniture are all you need to illuminate the space. Living inside this high-end desert spaceship currently costs just under a million.