Living in the Desert: Contemporary Houses in the Desert, Phaidon 2018

This is an exquisite coffee table sized book providing stunning photographs of 41 homes built in the ‘context of an environment with such overwhelming visual stimuli as the extraterrestrial-seeming arid landscapes of this world”, ie. deserts.  Homes from South Africa to Peru, from Mexico to Iran, from Egypt to Arizona, Utah, California, and Washington state are pictured in their desert environs showing how the architects and owners built to ’embrace’, built to be ‘within’, or built to ‘resist’ the desert.  Most of the homes are starkly modern and minimalist with cantilevered roofs, glass walls, metal or natural stone walls, spacious decks, and infinity pools and concrete interiors to match.  We have stayed at one of the sites, Amangiri in southeastern Utah and the photos wonderfully captured the stark beauty of that site.  I’m not sure I’d want to live in many of the isolated and sun-baked settings, but the several that fronted on the ocean were quite inviting.  This is a book to spend a couple of hours with during a thunderstorm when the outside elements can be countered by the sere and stark beauty of the desert.