This architectural wonder created from converted shipping containers is positioned at the most stunning point in Monument Manor in 22.5 acres of unparalleled natural beauty. It is situated less than 1 mile from the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.
This spectacular starburst property commissioned from London Based Whitaker Studios is surrounded by incredible rock formations, a private mountain, panoramic basin and views and hundreds of Joshua Trees
The home’s exoskeleton of cuboid forms emanates in all directions and are oriented to capture the sheer beauty of the vistas, sky and desert-scape. The stark interior comprises of a concrete floor, white walls and minimal furnishings.
With no light pollution for miles, this property is a stargazer’s paradise. It’s an amazing location, for those who love the expanse, to take their horses on a trail, or for those who just seek tranquility.
How did converted shipping containers for a home come about?
There have been lots of articles about Whitaker Studio’s design for the converted shipping containers house in Joshua Tree, and thousands of comments about it online. So we thought it would be good to publish a little bit about it, direct from the architect himself ‘James Whitaker’
“Two girls were over in LA visiting friends, and while there they called in to see the producer of the last film they worked on, my client. Having some time to spare, they all went on a road trip together out to Joshua Tree to visit my client’s site – about a 3-hour drive from West LA. While there one of the girls said, “you know what would look amazing here” before opening up her laptop and showing everyone one of my images of Hechingen Studio.
Back in 2010, a friend was looking to start an advertising agency in southern Germany and commissioned me to design them an office for their new startup. Sadly their startup stopped before it started and the office was never built, but since then I’ve been looking for the right client and site to take the concept forward. My client and their site in Joshua Tree are perfect.
The plan of the house has been designed to nestle into the rocks and topography of the site. With the containers orientated to frame views or to gain privacy from the land.
The kitchen is orientated to view an east-facing hillside bathed in the morning sunlight, framed by a glancing view of a small hill in the foreground and a larger hill in the mid-distance. The ensuite bathrooms are generally orientated to have a rock-strewn hillside right outside, providing privacy to the occupants.
In 3D, the location of the containers that reach towards the sky varies, between primarily being concerned with drawing light deeper into the plan—sometimes being concerned with lowering the wall between one space and another. An example of this is using a sky-bound container to reduce the wall between the kitchen and the living room so that while they’re separate spaces, there’s a sense of them being part of the same room.
The plan was carefully composed so that when you first arrive at the house, and all the doors are open, you can stand in the middle of the building and look down all of the spokes of the building. When the bedrooms are occupied large pivoted doors swing across to line through with the walls of the living room, making a clean space.
In terms of the climate of the site, the temperature range isn’t as great as you might expect. However, one little frustration for residents in Joshua Tree is that the wind can continuously fill your home with dust. The decked area is situated between the northernly containers to reduce this problem and gain some protection from the building and landscape, creating a comfortable, usable space.”
About Whitiker Studios
Based out of their office in east London, Whitaker Studio designs buildings, master-plans and objects that pepper the world and vary in size and use. A studio that is passionate about what they do and loves every last second of it. They don’t have a set style, or fixed way of working, but rather a continually evolving collection of interests and themes they want to explore.
Whitaker Studios start every project with no preconception of what it should be other than that it should be the best possible project it can be. To achieve that they work tirelessly to make their buildings specific to their customer’s site, amplifying the experience of being in that place. Whitaker Studio’s strive to create the experience of using their buildings perfect for the end-users. And, most crucially, they do this all by working closely with their clients.
Whitaker Studio was founded by James Whitaker. James is a registered architect and studied architecture at The University of Edinburgh, where he also taught animation and multimedia. He has worked in London and Hong Kong in the studios of Thomas Heatherwick and Ron Arad on a variety of projects, big and small. James’s photography work has been exhibited widely and published internationally, from the BBC Culture Show to Architecture New Zealand. Joshua Tree Residence was the most popular project on Dezeen in 2017.