The Journey of Mind, Body, and Soul
"Experience an intimate journey to a destination suspended between earth and sky, body and soul."
Inspired by Joshua Tree’s National Park breathtaking vistas, infinite sky, and enigmatic rock formations, our team at Archillusion Design has envisioned an architecturally innovative retreat to harmonize with this desert panorama.
CasaPlutonia redefines the traditional concept of a retreat by inviting guests to restore themselves in a sanctuary that fosters synergy among spirit, nature, and high design.
We designed every aspect of CasaPlutonia to foster rejuvenation, promote self-reflection, and provide guests with a tranquil respite from their intense metropolitan lives.
Upon arriving at CasaPlutonia guests enter a threshold called the Portal, an indoor-outdoor lobby that frames the sky with a circular oculus and provides glimpses of the central swimming pool. The Portal serves as the entrance to the subterranean corridor, the processional element leading guests to their suites, accentuating their transformative journey while framing the sublime desert views that burst into view upon ascent.
CasaPlutonia's Platonic geometries augment an understanding of the desert’s planar dimensions and provide guests with the increasingly rare opportunity to recover their well-being, discover their creative muse, or derive inspiration from a breathtaking desert sunset or ponder the infinite magnitude of a solitary Joshua Tree.
From out of the ten suites available at CasaPlutonia, guests will be able to select from five unique suites, four of which connects to its own private courtyard and whose architectural components represent one of the essential elements of Water, Air, Fire, and Earth.
Nestled among Joshua trees, some of which have endured for hundreds or even thousands of years, the architecture aims to deepen our awareness of nature’s persistence to thrive among adverse circumstances and our profound reliance on its restorative powers to sustain well-being.
For those who may be interested in more communal activities, the complex includes a wellness center replete a sauna, steam room, and area for spa treatments that is open to all guests.
Outside the retreat, visitors may explore the national park’s countless miles of hiking, rock climbing, and exclusive off-road adventures or simply visit the local museums, restaurants, shops, and other attractions.
CasaPlutonia may accommodate up to a maximum number of thirty-two (32) overnight guests, providing space for groups that may wish to reserve the entire retreat for intimate weddings or team-building exercises. Whether it is to detach from the world through individual moments of repose or to share fresh insights with new friends, guests who stay at CasaPlutonia begin an intimate journey leading from their private rooms and accompanying courtyards to a destination suspended between earth and sky, body and soul.
Joshua Tree's desert environment also provides ample opportunity for conserving water while harvesting the power of the sun and wind. Liberating these dormant passive energy systems is precisely the position we adopted in our design of a retreat composed of resilient buildings that function entirely off the public utility grid.
Distance to CasaPlutonia from major cities:
Palm Springs, CA - 52 miles (aprox. 50 minutes drive), Los Angeles, CA - 130 miles (aprox. 2 hours drive), San Diego, CA - 164 miles (aprox. 2 hours & 30 minutes drive), Las Vegas, NV - 187 miles (aprox. 3 hours drive)
Located at the intersection of Southern California’s Mojave and Colorado deserts, Joshua Tree encompasses an otherworldly landscape of boulder piles, indigenous Palm oases, historic trails, and an ecosystem that nurtures the remarkable Yucca Brevifolia, the distinctive tree that lends this national park its name. While rock climbers, campers, hikers, naturalists, and artists travel from all over the world to absorb Joshua Tree’s pristine beauty and to disconnect from the routine of everyday life, the park’s vast 790,636 acres guarantee an intimate engagement with the site’s stunning biodiversity.
The park preserves traces of ancient religions etched in petroglyphs and a record of indigenous people having thrived on its life-sustaining forces that dates back at least 5000 years to Pinto culture. Around the year 1800 cattlemen and miners discovered the desert’s rich natural resources, while Biblical prophets wandered here seeking divine enlightenment. With an arid atmosphere and expansive horizons, Joshua Tree remains a select destination for relaxation and self-discovery - offering contemplative environments for refreshing both body and mind.
At this precise moment, we present to you a visionary work of architecture that only just yesterday was a dream - a destination that develops place making into a personal journey of well-being in close proximity with nature. The community of Joshua Tree stands to thrive from the benefits CasaPlutonia offers, as the project increases public awareness of the fragile desert ecologies and builds the towns its emerging economy.
In order to translate the vision of CasaPlutonia into a reality, we purchased a desert lot in the town of Joshua Tree, just a ten minute drive from the Joshua Tree National Park’s entrance, and began collaborating with engineers, visionaries, community stakeholders, and local builders in the design of a new retreat that would respect its millennial-old context.
The idea of the name "CasaPlutonia":
CasaPlutonia was romantically named after a 1915 science-fiction novel by Vladimir Obruchev that describes a secret underground world with dramatic geographic features evoking the Mojave’s unique geology. The novel provided us with the conceptual premise to emphasize guests’ privacy by designing a procession to their rooms that would lead through a subterranean corridor, accentuate their transformative journey, and frame the sublime desert views that burst into view upon ascent.
Architecture Design: Archillusion Design Visualization: Artur Nesterenko, Igor Neminov, Victoria Litvin Animation: Igor Neminov, Artur Nesterenko Graphics and Film: Archillusion Design Script: Paulette Singley Photographers: Jodee Debes Photography. Photos of Joshua Tree Park from: Joshua Tree National Park Flickr Page Sound Track: Jose Manuel Gonzalez Nunez - In Aeris