The Doolittle house should theoretically be hard to miss. Designed by architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg in the 1980s, the 4,643-square-foot modern home rises up out of the California desert. Yet the house is both discreet and, once you’re inside, surprisingly cozy. This is organic architecture art at its sublime and also at its most dramatic. The underlying shape is soft and rounded like a pebble, and yet, like a desert plant, the house has an overarching spikiness to it.
Inside this modern architecture project, there are no traditional windows. Instead, light seeps inside this modern art building through the gaps in the ribbed roof overhead. Boulders and parts of the rocky land are integrated into the walls. The master bathroom of this architecture art backs into the hill and has a waterfall that trickles down the boulders. All these details blend to create a unique sense of being both inside and outside.
It was these factors that attracted writer Kristopher Dukes and her Facebook executive husband Matt Jacobson to it when they first came to view it in 2015. While the big, dramatic statement of the architecture art first drew the attention of Dukes and Jacobson, it was the micro-level of custom detail that retained it.
“The first time I experienced the house, I was blown away by all of the uncompromising details,” says Dukes.
Doctor Dolittle was famous for living with a menagerie of wild creatures. That sentiment is repeated in the Doolittle house, which is immersed in the wild outdoors yet protected from it with its spines and exterior shell.