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Set in the middle of the California desert, an architectural mirage is managing to confound the senses.
Zero Wagon Wheel Road (yes, that’s its official address) is in the middle of an expanse of the rocky terrain of Joshua Tree, with nothing in sight except the beating sun and nature.
The home, from London-based architectural firm Whitaker Studio, won’t be built until mid-2021, according to a spokesperson for real-estate firm Engel & Völkers Santa Monica which has the listing.
Until then, the home has continued to gain acclaim on Instagram and even has its own account, @starbursthouse.
Dubbed the “Starburst Container House,” the project will be built from shipping containers and formed into the shape of a star sitting among the desert rock formations. Asking $3.5 million dollars, the proposed house covers 2,112 square feet and sits on a wide expanse of land exceeding 90 acres, only a mile away from the gates of Joshua Tree National Park and Monument Manor.
“Each container is orientated to maximize views across the landscape, or to use the topography to provide privacy, depending on their individual use,” says Whitaker Studio’s James Whitaker of the project, which was commissioned by owners Chris and Roberta Hanley.
Hanley, an LA insider and producer behind movies like “The Virgin Suicides” and “American Psycho,” is deeply rooted in the Joshua Tree area. He and his wife also built “The Invisible House” next door to the plot — a massive monolith covered in mirrors that reflect the image of the surrounding desert back at the viewer.
“Whitaker Studio’s view portals, designed with shipping containers that reach up to stars and out to the rocky desert expanse, are pure brilliance,” Raymond Dominguez of Engel & Völkers Santa Monica, the listing agent for the property, told The Post. “We are excited to see this collaborative vision come to life.”
While the home has yet to be constructed formally, representatives of Engel & Völkers seem confident not only that it will be built, but in interest from various parties to use the space. While the $3.5 million asking price would be for the Hanleys to sell the home outright as a private residence, there’s also interest in using the space in other ways until a sale is made.
“They’ve raised the funds and it’s being built in the middle of next year,” said a spokesperson. “Whitaker Studio is the architect and designer. It’s very open, but there’s the potential for art installations or other partnerships with companies or international architecture firms to use it as a showroom.”
Inside, the design is kept relatively sparse to draw the eye to the exterior facade and architecture. The interior includes three “bedrooms,” each positioned at the end of one of the land-parallel containers, while the ones reaching upward toward the sky keep the space flooded with natural light. The bedrooms are kept architecturally inspired, but narrow, with built stairs that reach up the back of each bed to climb up over and into the bed.
The entire home is open, doorless and connects at a central point. If you’re standing in the center of the home, you can look down at each bed, bathroom and kitchen area. There’s also a few colorful, modernist sofas to anchor the “living room” area. Outside, a garage and solar panel canopy will also provide power to the building.
For an entire home built out of storage containers though, the amount of storage available inside the house seems minimal. If you’re looking for a place to build up your collection of antiques and hang photos up on the walls, you may want to keep looking. If an architectural stunner that’s bound to bring in those Instagram likes is more your style, then look no further.