In 2010 the Los Angeles-based architect Robert Stone finished his creation of something spectacular and totally unexpected on the fringes of the Joshua Tree National Park, boasting with every ingredient to amaze its spectator. Down a lonely stretch of dirt road Stone constructed this crazy amazing property, next to the sister project in all-black Rosa Muerta or ‘dead rose’, which both clearly show the architect’s unique courage and vision and possibly even megalomania, as some have argued. With a very surreal aesthetic the project that was named Acido Dorado, which translates to ‘golden acid’, is a glamorous larger-than-life golden palace that shimmers like a mirage and transforms inside and out throughout the day, with the changing light exemplifying the intrinsic quality of every noble metal: to shine brightly.
The design and fashion world took notice, enabling former punk-rocker Stone to gain influence and an international following. Both Acido Dorado and Rosa Muerta have featured in countless shoots from Elle Décor to Playboy, among many others, in a Roberto Cavalli campaign and Steven Klein shot the properties for American Vogue. The architect has stated that the fashion world played a very significant role in his influences leading up to the project. Stone: “My studio looks like a cross between a car shop and a teenage girl’s bedroom with tools and machines everywhere and magazine tear-sheets on the walls. There are aspects of fashion that architects should take note of. I think that capturing a moment in time and transforming it into something profound is the hardest thing to do. It’s a great example of how an engaged and vital creative culture works.”
Next to fashion having part in his vision, the University California Berkeley graduate also names his early years as formative events leading up to the project. Stone grew up in the canyons of Palm Springs, the epitome of mid-century modernism, where he was surrounded with retro sophistication and picked up the rugged simplicity of his environs: “I lived in and around a lot of iconic modernist architecture and it gave me a much broader view. People didn’t just sit around in Eames chairs reading magazines or smiling by the pool — they lived, died, laughed, cried and loved in those houses. If you change the way you look at things, everything changes.”
In all his work Stone is driven by a love for friction, possibly a remainder of his years in punk-rock:
The most destabilizing, and therefore potent, aesthetics are those that mess with the known and the unknown. So I work with both, the space inbetween, and the intersections. I want to drop a new architecture into the crushing flow of cultural meaning and everyday use, let it get battered, polished and transformed, and in turn have it subtly modify the meaning of everything around it.
We love Stone’s relentlessness and dogmatic and exceptionally larger-than-life aesthetic created for this ever-fascinating project!
Photography by Brad Landsill.
(Via arch daily)