Inspired by Joshua Tree’s breathtaking vistas, infinite sky, and enigmatic rock formations, the team at Archillusion Design has envisioned an architecturally innovative retreat to harmonize with this desert panorama. Called CasaPlutonia, this project redefines the more traditional concept of a retreat by inviting guests to restore themselves in a sanctuary that fosters synergy among spirit, nature, and high design.
Every aspect of CasaPlutonia was designed to foster rejuvenation, promote self-reflection, and provide guests with a tranquil respite from their intense metropolitan lives. Nestled among Joshua trees, some of which have endured for hundreds or even thousands of years, the architecture aims to deepen our awareness of nature’s persistence to thrive among adverse circumstances and our profound reliance on its restorative powers to sustain well-being. Upon arriving at CasaPlutonia guests enter a threshold called the Portal, an indoor-outdoor lobby that frames the sky with a circular oculus and provides glimpses of the central swimming pool. The Portal serves as the entrance to the aforementioned subterranean corridor, the processional element leading guests to their suites. Each suite features a private courtyard containing ample space for meditation, soaking in a hot tub, or simply contemplating the desert panorama.
The layout of CasaPlutonia is made up of volumes symmetrically organized around the central swimming pool. A cast-in-place concrete system with smooth plywood form finish is used as the primary construction technique to create the atmosphere of modernity, aesthetic beauty, sturdiness, and functionality. The local climate allows for the architecture to have an open configuration where the depth of the concrete walls acts as thermal mass, insulation, and a primary structure at once. CasaPlutonia generates its power from the solar plant installed within the property of the building. During colder months, concrete walls and floors will provide passive solar heat gain.
Each side of the retreat consists of the five guest suites, which form two parallel wings. From out of the ten suites available at CasaPlutonia, guests will be able to select from five unique suites, four of which connects to its own private courtyard and whose architectural components represent one of the essential elements of Water, Air, Fire, and Earth. The courtyard referencing water features a pool. The courtyard relating to air contains a passive solar chimney that draws breezes through an operable skylight. The courtyard for earth displays landscaped platforms with plants rooted in the ground. And finally, the courtyard conjuring fire encloses a tectonic fire pit. Each courtyard also contains a meditation area that doubles as a space for gazing at the remarkable starlit sky whose distant galaxies become visible once removed from city lights.
Inside CasaPlutonia Euclidean Platonic geometries augment an understanding of the desert’s planar dimensions and provide guests with the increasingly rare opportunity to recover their well-being, discover their creative muse, or derive inspiration from a breathtaking desert sunset or ponder the infinite magnitude of a solitary Joshua Tree. Outside the retreat visitors may explore the national park’s countless miles of hiking, rock climbing, and off-roading adventures or simply visit the local museums, restaurants, shops, and other attractions.
Artur Nesterenko, Igor Neminov, Victoria Litvin
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central swimming pool
view from the suites
fire element courtyard
portal / lobby
earth element courtyard
air element courtyard
water element courtyard
front view of the retreat
private swimming pool