Desert House: Fascinating prefab home by Marmol Radziner


Desert House is a modern prototype prefab home designed by architecture studio Marmol Radziner, located in a beautiful oasis in Desert Hot Springs, California. The two bedroom, two bathroom residence is located on a five-acre site and oriented to best capture views of San Jacinto peak and the surrounding mountains.


From the architect: Doubling the interior space, the home extends towards the landscape with covered outdoor living areas. The home is comprised of 4,500 square feet of sturdy steel modules (2,100 interior square feet and 2,450 covered exterior square feet) rooted onto a concrete pad atop an untamed hill—looms into view like a sleek metal oasis.


Sheltered living spaces blend the indoors with the outdoors, simultaneously extending and connecting the house to the north wing, comprised of a guest house and art studio. The intersecting modules were designed to frame a range of spectacular desert vistas.


After months of arduous design and construction, Marmol and his family are thrilled to escape Los Angeles for their idyllic desert retreat.


Ocotillo was placed in key areas as a great structural focal point. Groupings of succulents accent the home’s entry path and pool area.


Plants found in the surrounding landscape were used to obscure the lines between designed and natural worlds.


The open living and dining plan is flooded with natural light. The wicker PK22 lounge chairs are by Poul Kjaerholm for Fritz Hansen. The suspension lamp is by DePadova.

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There are generously proportioned nine-foot-high ceilings throughout the Desert House. Marmol Radziner designed and built the outdoor table and benches from reclaimed Douglas fir.


The kitchen cabinetry, custom designed by the architects, is smooth brown teak. The faucet is by Hansgrohe, and the dishwasher is by Bosch.

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The “L” shaped plan layout defines a protected courtyard that includes a pool and fire pit.

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Photos: Marmol Radziner and Daniel Hennessy for Dwell

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