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March 20, 2013
Few climates offer the extreme heat and extreme cold (all in one day) of the desert. Throw in the fact that they're sparsely populated, offer few municipal services, and are often in the middle of nowhere and you've got the perfect recipe for innovative, off-the-grid architecture. In our Elements Issue, we took a look at homes designed for all climes; here are our favorite modern houses in the desert.
Groupings of succulents accent the home’s entry path and pool area.
With this elegant steel prototype, Marmol Radziner and Associates launch a new prefab venture with the goal of bringing their modern design sensibilities to a broader market. Photo by: Daniel Hennessy
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Originally appeared in Desert Utopia
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The rustic look of surfwear entrepreneur Jim Austin’s home both stands out and also conforms with its rough-and-tumble surroundings in Pioneertown, California. Photo by David Harrison.

Architect Lloyd Russell’s design for this desert getaway passively mitigates the elements with a utilitarian solution, turning a modest modern retreat into a hardy, region-appropriate home. Photo by: 

 

Originally appeared in Operation Desert Shed
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The iT House is an exploration of the couple's architectural ideas, built with the help of friends over many weekends away from Los Angeles. It brings the precise and the cool together with the wild and untamed.

The iT House brings together raw industrial aesthetics with the tactics of green design to forge a new home in the sunbaked wilds of California’s east. Photo by: Gregg Segal

 

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Originally appeared in iT House, Joshua Tree
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Entirely off the grid, the house is powered by four photovoltaic panels that supply electricity to lights, small appliances, and water pumps.

Rosie Joe’s off-the-grid house was the first project built in the Navajo Nation by DesignBuildBLUFF, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning, that Louis directs with a group of first-year graduate students. Photo by: Daniel Hennessy

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Originally appeared in No Grid in Sight
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The Blue Sky prototype house leads a second life as desert getaway for David McAdam and his partner Scott Smith.

The Blue Sky prototype home tiptoes gracefully across the desert landscape just north of Joshua Tree National Park. Nestled amid piñon and juniper trees and outcroppings of boulders, the house’s six steel columns permit a seasonal stream to run underneath it. Photo by: Misha Gravenor

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Originally appeared in Plan of Steel
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Groupings of succulents accent the home’s entry path and pool area.
With this elegant steel prototype, Marmol Radziner and Associates launch a new prefab venture with the goal of bringing their modern design sensibilities to a broader market. Photo by: Daniel Hennessy
Photo by Daniel Hennessy.

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