In LA, we have the desert at our front door, and in the spring time we go there to see the flowers. Or we hope to see them… The desert is always beautiful, breathtaking with the immensity of its skies, the shadows of its clouds, and the pureness of its light. So I wanted to meet up with a old friend in the desert. We chose Joshua Tree. The flowers and all the above were there, but while I was there I also found out about this new motel that's opening in June. My friend took me there, and I wanted to be the first to tell you about it.
Blake, the owner, bought this old motel on the highway and is turning it into his own art project. He's been working on it for six and a half years, and everything is about detail. The materials are stone, wood, steel and glass, and he's designing all the furniture to go inside it.
I asked Blake for more information and here's what he told me. The hotel will be made up of five rooms: two suites with steam showers and full kitchens; and three single rooms with fridges and coffee makers. It'll be a cool mix of the past and the present, with typewriters and papers, books, record players and record collections, as well as wireless internet. Beds will be handmade, and it will be decorated in original art (mostly photography), with regular shows in its on-site gallery.
Blake is using as much green building tech as possible, from recycled denim insulation to reclaimed wood ceilings, beds and furniture. The hotel will be solar-powered, and the pool and spa chemical-free.
Plans for the future include a bar and restaurant, as well as a studio to provide a place for people to work on projects like film, music, metalwork, woodworking, ceramics and silk screening. He's even talking about a barter/intern program. As he explains, 'If you're broke, and want to come out to the desert and work on a project, you can trade time/labor for your lodging.' Who wouldn't want to?
I can't wait for it to open. We'll write another article when it does. VL
Images: Mojave Projects