Dezeen Magazine

10 desert houses that make the most of arid landscapes

We've rounded up 10 desert houses that make the most of their situations in inhospitable landscapes, including a holiday home in Egypt and a spacious dwelling on the outskirts of Marrakech.

Black Desert House by Oller & Pejic

Black Desert House, California, by Oller & Pejic

Designed to resemble a shadow, this desert house by Oller & Pejic features black walls, so that it is easy to rest the eyes on when the sunlight is painfully harsh.

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Nakai House by University of Colorado students

Nakai House, Utah, USA, by University of Colorado students 

Cladding made from recycled glass protects the walls of this cabin, designed by students from the University of Colorado, from the harsh desert sun and open winds.

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Pobble House, Dungeness, UK, by Guy Hollaway

Clad in rusty steel mesh, silvery larch and grey cement fibreboard, Guy Holloway designed this house made up of three adjoining cabins in the remote landscape of Britain's only desert – Dungeness.

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Desert Courtyard House by Wendell Burnette Architects

Desert Courtyard House, Arizona, USA, by Wendell Burnette Architects

This house by Wendell Burnette Architects is shrouded in a surface of patinated metal to blend in with the surrounding granite boulders and cacti. It surrounds a naturally forming courtyard.

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Fobe House, Marrakesh, Morocco, by Guilhem Eustache

Dotted around a two-hectare site on the outskirts of Marrakech, this boxy desert house is made up of white blocks. As well as the main living spaces, the various buildings comprise a pool house, a caretaker’s residence and a garage.

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Tuscon Mountain Retreat by DUST

Tuscon Mountain Retreat, Arizona, by Dust

Nestled into the rocky out-crops of the Sonoran Desert, this single-storey house made of rammed earth is orientated along an east-west access to reduce solar heat gain.

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High Desert Dwelling by Imbue

High Desert Dwelling, Utah, by Imbue

This house by Imbue Design is covered in sheets of Corten steel, and features large glazed gables that frame the mountainous Capitol Reef National Park in which it sits.

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Casa Caldera by DUST

Casa Caldera, Arizona, USA, by Dust

Inspired by vernacular desert architecture, this house by DUST comprises two solid volumes symmetrically organised around a central void and walls made from volcanic residue.

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Ecolodge by Laetita Delubac and Christian Felix

Ecolodge, Egypt, by Laetitia Delubac and Christian Felix

Mud, sand, and sun-dried salt were used to construct the walls of this holiday home by Laetitia Delubac and Christian Félix. Nooks in the walls create place to put candles, as there is no electricity.

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Desert House, Australia, by Dunn & Hillam Architects

Embedded into a hillside in the Australian desert, this home by Dunn & Hillam Architects features a large angled roof designed to protect it from extreme temperatures.

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