Folly / Cohesion Studio

© Sam Frost © Sam Frost
  • Architects: Cohesion Studio
  • Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, United States
  • Lead Architect/ Designer: Malek Alqadi
  • Area: 950.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Sam Frost
© Sam Frost © Sam Frost

Text description provided by the architects. Folly is a peculiar prototype built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to its surroundings through an architectural medium. Upon arrival, Folly sets the tone to disconnect from the norm, the expected, and provokes you to connect with the surroundings. I perceived it as a design paradigm, a small space with a big experience, modern and innovative while grounded within its environment. Surrounded by Joshua Tree National Park stands two cabins with siding weathered naturally to a tawny finish. Within these simple gabled forms lies a complex network that enables them to operate entirely off the grid.

Ground Level Plan Ground Level Plan

Alqadi salvaged the building’s slab while raising the original roofline to accommodate a living/dining area and kitchen, a sleeping loft, and a bathroom and wet room. The pitched roof does more than increase livable space; it enables hot air to vent through solar-powered skylights. 

© Sam Frost © Sam Frost

At night, the main attraction is the stargazing suite is an open-air portal perched atop the smaller cabin, where visitors can watch movies or gaze at the stars, warmed by a bio-ethanol fireplace and a heated bed. 

© Sam Frost © Sam Frost

A stargazing bedroom with no ceiling, showers with exposed and expansive views and an energy producing solar tree is the exploitation of nature through a respectful approach. Utilizing today’s Technology allows the guests to monitor energy consumption and solar production, controlled secured entry, lighting settings, solar powered skylights and set cooling and heating temperatures to the space.

Second Level Plan Second Level Plan

This interactivity, establishes a reference to what off-grid living is like through automated creature comforts that ‘break the ice’ to an off-grid lifestyle without compromising the surrounding environment or guest expectations.

© Sam Frost © 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 in Los Angeles, the idea of an "off-grid architectural experiment" grew.

© Sam Frost © Sam Frost

Malek’s concept for a green getaway took shape when he and Hillary Flur, his childhood best friend from Florida, visited Joshua Tree, near the 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park, they bought a gutted, a run-down homestead built in 1954.

© Sam Frost © Sam Frost

Folly is expanding into Folly Farm In New York and Folly Mojave in Southern California. Both off-grid destinations will allow for
inclusive experiences such as work retreats, social groups, or intimate events. Utilizing architecture as a medium, this collection of work will provide moments of disconnect in which guests can experience a creative escape to engage with fellow explorers or simply relax with alone time.