American architect, Kendrick Bangs Kellogg is an innovator of organic architecture, growing up in Mission Beach where it is said he designed and built his first structure, a fort or clubhouse in the backyard of his family home. He is influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, believing that structures should “harmonize with its site and surroundings” and he became a champion of the “organic architecture” movement. Kellogg has designed, engineered and built a wide variety of distinctive buildings. Homes include The Lotus House, Wingsweep, The High Desert house and The Onion House, in addition to such public buildings as the Hoshino Wedding Chapel in Japan and The Charthouse Restaurants. His work has been described as “The Sydney Opera House meets Stonehenge.”

Kendrick Bangs Kellogg High Desert house

The High Desert House  |  Perched on the slope of a rocky hill not far from the Joshua Tree National Park, lives the High Desert House, originally constructed for artist Bev Doolittle and her husband. Fascinated by Kellogg’s unique organic style, and aesthetically fearless, the couple gave Mr. Kellogg carte-blanche to create the structure. Construction on the magnificent home began in 1988 and was completed 5 years later. The structure is formed by 26 concrete columns sunk deep into the bedrock below. Kellogg describes his goal for the project, “The idea was that the house would be settled in the landscape like it was crouching on the rocks, maybe like an animal asleep.” Photograph by Lance Gerber.

Longtime collaborator John Vugrin, was enviably tasked with creating the interior design for the High Desert House. From door handles, light switches, fences and chairs, he spent almost the next two decades crafting each and every detail of the sweeping interior space. Photograph by Lance Gerber.