Plus, the high-desert outpost is available to rent.

Instead of installing rooftop solar panels, Alqadi and his friend and partner in the venture, Hillary Flur, built a

Surrounded by boulders and twisted yuccas, two cabins in the Mojave Desert stand like Monopoly houses, their steel siding weathered to a tawny finish. But behind the simple gabled forms lies a complex network that enables them to operate wholly off the grid. 

Naturally rusted steel sheathes the cabins that Malek Alqadi built on a 1954 homestead outside Joshua Tree National Park.

Naturally rusted steel sheathes the cabins that Malek Alqadi built on a 1954 homestead outside Joshua Tree National Park. “I loved the idea of stitching the existing structure back together, reinforcing it, and giving it life again without compromising the beautiful setting it’s in,” he says.

Photo: Sam Frost 

Their creator, architectural designer Malek Alqadi, has been fascinated with sustainable living since his days as an undergraduate architecture student. Later, while working on high-end homes for a small firm in Los Angeles, the idea of an “off-grid architectural experiment” began nagging at him. 

Raw plywood contrasts with dark plaster in the 460-square-foot main cabin, whose communal space encompasses an efficient living/dining area and kitchen.

Raw plywood contrasts with dark plaster in the 460-square-foot main cabin, whose communal space encompasses an efficient living/dining area and kitchen.

Photo: Sam Frost

Alqadi’s concept for a green getaway took shape when he and Hillary Flur, his childhood best friend from Florida, visited Joshua Tree, about two hours east of Los Angeles, and were taken with the area.

Shop the Look

IKEA MARTIN Chair

You can stack the chairs, so they take less space when you’re not using them. The self-adjusting plastic feet adds stability to the chair. Photo courtesy of IKEA



Menu Snaregade Rectangular Table

Thoroughly tested by founder and creative management. Originally Norm Architects designed a table especially for Bjarne Hansen – the creative director and founder at Menu. The table was meant for Bjarne’s living room at home. While at it, Norm also manufactured some tables for their own studio. All three of them have used those tables ever since. After being tested and used for years by our founder and design managers – we think it’s safe to say that the design is approved. So, for our Spring 2016 collection we’ve decided to launch the Snaregade tables in three variants, rectangular, oval and round. Suitable as a dining table or work table. A round one for the meeting room or a rectangular in the kitchen. Everything goes. And as for the name? Snaregade is the name of the street in Copenhagen where Norm Architects have their studio. Now available with a laminated surface to better withstand heavy use. Photo courtesy of Architonic

Menu Willmann Vase

Meet Willmann Vase. Aka little miss look-who’s-here! Forget all about doing things ‘as usual’, she expects new thoughts, energy and courage! And you can almost hear her yawning from the windowsill when you prepare your eggs juuuust as you always do. No, bring something new to the table, some freshly cut stalks and some attitude – and she’ll be much more attentive. Her favorite colors are green, orange, pink and red, because they complement her grey, raw exterior so nicely. And if you’re careful to always bring her fresh flowers, she will melt. Stuff like that is impossible to withstand, even for a concrete heart. As you may have noticed Willmann Vase is a quite special vase. The design gently connects the opposites of glass and concrete, the breakable and the strong. Photo courtesy of YLiving

The sofa and dining chairs are from IKEA. The solar refrigerator is from EcoSolarCool. A ladder leads to the loft, where a solar-powered skylight from Velux is fitted with a rain sensor.

The sofa and dining chairs are from IKEA. The solar refrigerator is from EcoSolarCool. A ladder leads to the loft, where a solar-powered skylight from Velux is fitted with a rain sensor.

Photo: Sam Frost

See the full story on Dwell.com: These Tiny, Off-the-Grid Cabins Near Joshua Tree Look Totally Apocalypse-Proof

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