An outside view of modern villa.
(Image credit: press)

In an effort to restore the sense that we are living on a star amongst the stars, Star Axis, the Mayan-looking land art project and naked eye observatory in the New Mexican desert, took sculptor Charles Ross 40 years to almost-finish. Nearby Elements House is an autonomous visitors’ centre, designed by New York-based firm MOS for the Museum of Outdoor Arts as a quasi-hotel for visitors to Star Axis. Meticulously sited to deny visitors any direct views of the artwork, it is an exploded, irregular cluster of room-sized ‘houses’, with pitched roofs, chunky chimneys and aluminium panels shaped like roof shingles and brick or vinyl siding. It’s off the grid, modular design offers an alternative way to experience the site and features a structural insulated panel system that integrates on-site generation of energy. ‘The surrounding landscape is immense and breath-taking,’ says partner Michael Meredith. ‘It made us feel as though we had suddenly found ourselves at the bottom of the ocean.’

Irregular cluster of room-sized houses.

(Image credit: press)

Vacation house interior view.

(Image credit: press)

Dining area view of vacation house.

(Image credit: press)

A long view of vacation house.

(Image credit: press)




Element House at Star Axis
New Mexico


Shonquis Moreno has served as an editor for Frame, Surface and Dwell magazines and, as a long-time freelancer, contributed to publications that include T The New York Times Style Magazine, Kinfolk, and American Craft. Following years living in New York City and Istanbul, she is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.