Californian Desert's Swimming "Crater" Is Made of Salvaged Wood
Using materials sourced directly from the landscape, thought-provoking Land Art pieces often raise awareness about the natural surroundings in which they sit. Rising in the middle of a barren desert 15 miles outside of Joshua Tree, California, this curvaceous basin by Los Angeles-based Ball-Nogues Studio doubles as a pool and climbing wall, and is constructed with wood salvaged from a previous project.
Named the "Yucca Crater," the project was completed as part of a site-specific, conceptual art event called High Desert Test Sites, which took place in mid-October.
Much of the plywood material came from Talus Dome, another of the firm's pavilions previously situated in Canada, with both projects being "cross-designed" so that materials could be reused.
Integrating "concept, aesthetics, social relationships and [methods of] production," the concept behind Yucca Crater is to provide users with an unexpected place for recreation in the desert. After climbing ladders that hang on the structure's exterior, the inner curves of the wooden basin are studded with plastic rock climbing holds, tacked onto the basin's walls, which allow people to climb down to a pool of salt water below.
More details on the Yucca Crater from Ball-Nogues Studio:
Located in the barren desert near Joshua Tree National Park, 15 miles from the nearest human settlement, Yucca Crater is a synthetic earthwork that double[s] as a recreational amenity... After the [High Desert Test Sites] event, Yucca Crater was abandoned to the entropic forces of the landscape.
The work resembles a basin that stands 30 feet from rim to low point and is depressed 10 feet into the earth. Rock climbing holds mounted on the interior allow visitors to descend into a deep pool of salt water.
Yucca Crater expands on concepts borrowed from land art, incorporating the prospect of the abandoned suburban swimming pools and ramshackle homestead dwellings scattered across the Mojave.
Swimming under a star-washed desert sky, one can imagine the basin offering quite a view at night. More photos over at Ball-Nogues Studio.