Home buyers in search of a connection with Mother Earth may want to head over to the Coachella Valley.
We’ve unearthed a luxury compound in Rancho Mirage, CA, where an extended family can live in peace and harmony, not only with each other but with the terra firma.
There’s no doubt the $4.9 million price tag is daunting, but this desert dwelling was once on the market for $12 million, over a decade ago. A 60% percent price slice makes that feel like a relative bargain.
Designed by Jim McIntosh in 2003, the 1.5-acre property is described as an “artist’s bold vision of serenity and innovation combined to create a tribute to Mother Earth.”
The multibuilding compound is known as “Terra,” because many of the walls are made of earth itself.
Builders used the “rammed-earth” technique, which involves 2-foot-thick walls made of steel rebar and rammed and compacted earth. It’s an approach tailor-made for a desert design.
“The rammed-earth walls naturally regulate this desert home’s temperature by absorbing heat in the day and releasing it at night,” says Tamara Baron of The Agency, the co-listing agent.
In addition, according to Baron, it’s also in touch with the environment in more ways than one.
“The rammed-earth walls have the lowest environmental impact of building techniques currently used,” she says, “and the unique composition of the rammed earth allows it to absorb and release humidity, improve air quality, and offer next-level natural wellness to its residents.”
To complement the remarkable walls, the floors are made of concrete stained with an earthy shade of red wine.
“From walking across the natural floor barefoot to soaking in the many textures and layers of the walls, [the home] evokes both the rugged landscape and a sense of timelessness all at once,” says co-listing agent Jeff Kohl, also of The Agency.
Beyond its earthy roots, Terra has other additional virtues.
It’s comprised of four buildings, room enough for the extended clan: a 5,000-square-foot main residence, a 2,000-square-foot, two-story studio for artists or musicians, a 700-square-foot guesthouse, and a 1,000-square-foot gatehouse.
You’ll find a total of five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, as well as six fireplaces and four kitchens.
Its exquisite design touches include rare stained-glass windows, tin-paneled ceilings, ornate steel railings, surfaces of quartz, and many other features imported from Europe.
The grounds feature a saltwater lagoon pool with an island, terraces, rolling lawns, and landscaping that includes citrus trees.
The land is zoned for horses, and can accommodate parties of up to 1,000 guests.
“This home exudes a sense of calm from its deep connection to the Earth,” says Kohl. “The rammed earth is an art form in itself, and the result is beautiful layers of earth and a structure that is almost sculptural in its complexity, scale, and strength.”
All that’s missing are some buyers willing to dig deep into their wallet and to call this earthly delight home.