michael jantzen

michael jantzen

Santa Fe, NM, US


The Eco-Desert Retreat

The Eco-Desert Retreat is one design in a series of functional art vacation retreat habitation structures that can be placed in various remote locations without the need for conventional utilities. These small vacation retreat shelters, and other support facilities, can be placed in various pristine landscapes without causing any adverse environmental damage. When it is time to remove the retreats, it can easily be done, leaving the landscape as it was.

The design of these retreats can vary depending on the specific functional and esthetic requirements. The specific design of the Eco-Desert Retreat, consists of one habitation shelter and three support structures. Two of these take the form of curved shade structures made of wood. These structures could be mounted on wheels so they can be easily moved to different locations. They each support a large hammock, and have a large curved shaded bench built into one end. The third support structure is a vertical axis wind turbine mounted on the top of a shaded circular bench.

The wind turbine generates electricity for use in the habitation portion of the retreat. Additional electricity for use in the habitation shelter is supplied by a series of curved photovoltaic panels mounted on the top portion of the structure. The electrical power is stored in batteries. Rainwater is also funneled off of the top of the structure  into storage containers where it is filtered for use inside.  A waterless composing or a waterless incinerator type toilet will be used.

The domestic water is heated by the sun along with back-up bottled gas. The habitation shelter is naturally ventilated through vents that are located in the elevated floor. Two shaded exterior decks on either side of the structure are fitted with sliding louvered panels, and a curved shaded seating place extends out from one end of the habitation shelter.

This work attempts to merge art, architecture, technology, and sustainable design into one unique experience. I want people to vacation in my art and at the same time, experience what it is like to live off of the conventional utility grid. In this way, I hope to inspire them into thinking differently about the way in which they live, and to embrace the use of alternative sources of energy.

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Status: Unbuilt
My Role: designed by me Michael Jantzen