Desert Pyramid Home Concept

I drew this for fun, and it’s not a tiny house. I wanted to explore designing an off-grid pyramid home in the desert. In many ways it’s a fairly normal American home. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, two levels, and a patio with a pool, but the shape of a pyramid is dramatic and demands to be treated differently.

The view walking toward the pyramid from the driveway.

I didn’t want to poke a hole in the side of the pyramid for a front door. I wanted to make entering the pyramid a bit more of an adventure, so I chose to create a dramatic subterranean entrance that felt like a journey. To enter the pyramid you must first walk toward it, then around it, and view it from three sides. Once you’ve taken in it’s presence, you must descend through a glass hatch covered staircase.

The glass hatch opens. Decent the staircase to the exterior front door.

From the bottom of the staircase you pass under the long narrow glass bottomed swimming pool where you’ll find the interior front door of the home.

Walk below the glass bottomed lap pool to the interior front door.

Beyond this door you climb a short dark concrete staircase and finally find yourself on the lower level.

Once through the interior front door you climb a dark stairwell up onto the lower level. The the right is a door to a basement.

On the lower level there’s a kitchen, dining room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a laundry/utility room.

Your first view upon entering the lower level is the kitchen and dining room.
View toward stairs to the upper level from the dining room.

The lower living level is windowless except for glass blocks in the ceiling that also form part of the floor of the upper level. Natural light passes through these glass blocks as well as through the stairwell opening to the upper level.

The upper level is open with a staircase in the center.

Climbing the stairs to the upper level you turn 180-degrees and arrive in a glass and concrete pyramid shaped room with four giant pyramid windows. In the center of the room is the U-shaped staircase you just climbed. On each of the four walls is minimalist modern furniture and excellent views of the surrounding desert. An excellent place to host a guests.

Stairs down to the lower level and the interior front door.
There’s plenty of space for ample seating and art.
Along the north wall are two chairs.
At nights the light from the lower level shines through the glass blocks embedded in the floor.

Truth be told, entering this pyramid wouldn’t be easy or convenient, and may become an annoyance to the occupants. But for those who embrace the ritual value of the journey – passing into the pyramid may become a valued trade-off to the day-to-day convenience of a common door.

View of exterior patios, pool, and entry hatch. Notice the curb around the base of the pyramid that collects rainwater into two large underground tanks that flank the pool.

Mechanically speaking the pyramid itself would double as a rainwater collection surface catching runoff around its edge and channeling it into underground storage tanks that flank the pool. A photovoltaic solar array would need to be located nearby to power this desert home.

The wall construction should be a combination of concrete and foam, so that the thermal mass of the concrete keeps the interior consistent without the need for much mechanical intervention.

The exterior of the pyramid must be as smooth as possible, almost polished like a mirror. The glass should be semi transparent but mostly reflective to help keep the interior cool on sunny days.

View of pyramid at night from the closed entry hatch.

The bedrooms receive natural daylight though the glass blocks in the floor above. The master bedroom has its own bathroom.

Master Bedroom

The master bathroom has a shower, tub, toilet and sink. The bathroom also receive natural light from the glass blocks in the floor above.

Master Bath

The bedrooms are typical in size and each bedroom has a walk-in closet.

Bedroom
Bedroom

The second bathroom is just off the staircase landing.

Second Bath
Upper Level Floor Plan
Lower Level Floor Plan

This was a fun exploration for my imagination. It’s not a practical house, but then if that was the goal, something the shape of a box would be more effective. A pyramid requires some dramatic solutions and nothing that detracts from the statement it would make.

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