Posted on 6/26/2023 by Ronald Ahrens

Palm Springs Life


Co-owner Kenneth Lord commissioned this contemporary design for his property in Joshua Tree from his brother, James Lord, principal of Surface design in San Francisco. Anchored in the rocky landscape, “the pool seems to be rising out of the rock in a naturalistic manner,” Kenneth says. Diagonal strips of hardscaping present strong graphical elements. A mirrored privacy wall, to be installed along the pool’s eastern edge, will “accentuate the connection between the earth, sky, and water.”


Looking out across the Joshua Tree and Southern Railroad Museum, this newly built infinity pool replaced the former “cowboy tub,” bringing a splash of modernity to a dusty High Desert compound. A saltwater system is gentle on eyes already bugging out at scale-model steam trains and vast hills spilling out of the national park. A sturdy lounging net supports poolside stargazers. Chaises and a tanning shelf emphasize that you’re not at the John C. Argue Swim Stadium in Los Angeles anymore.


Aglow with red-violet light, the pool at sunset is ethereality itself, seemingly verifying myths of the High Desert’s connection to the other side. Although its trapezoid form draws instant attention, architect Tom Pejic explains that he sited it along the bedroom wing because it’s meant to be a family pool, not a showpiece catching stares from the living room. “[It’s a] good lesson that you should pay attention to the site and not do the expected thing,” says Pejic, noting that the warped geometry lets all lines converge in the distance.

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