ball nogues studio: yucca crater ball nogues studio: yucca crater
aug 22, 2011

ball nogues studio: yucca crater

‘yucca crater’ by ball nogues studio in the mojave desert, california image © allison porterfield




los angeles based practice ball nogues studio is in the process of completing ‘yucca crater’, an interactive installation for the high desert test sites initiative located near the joshua tree national park, california, USA. idealized as an oasis for travelers of the vast and arid mojave desert, this project merges the theory of earthwork art with a man made structure. standing at 24 feet tall, the shell’s exposed wooden framework will serve as a ladder for climbing into and out of the vessel. the interior is lined with rock climbing holds allowing visitors to access a pool filled with 8 feet of water. the contents will be heated with solar power and pumped through a wind turbine, utilizing the readily available local resources.

wooden framework image © allison porterfield




the fundamental elements of the fabrication will derive from another project completed by the studio, talus dome. a mound covered with stainless steel spheres currently sited along a freeway in edmonton, alberta, canada, will be dismantled and repurposed for yucca crater. an inversion of its earlier existence, the container will be transported to its desert destination promoting ecologically minded and waste free construction.

overall framework image © allison porterfield

(left) vessel framework with scale model (right) opposite side of vessel images © allison porterfield

top of yucca crater image © allison porterfield

detail of connections image © allison porterfield

assembling the structure image © allison porterfield

base of framework image © allison porterfield

cnc router cutting steel plates for connections image © allison porterfield

cutting wood with cnc router image courtesy ball nogues studio

completed structure within the mojave desert image courtesy ball nogues studio

section image courtesy ball nogues studio

model image courtesy ball nogues studio

stainless steel spheres from talus dome image courtesy ball nogues studio

talus dome located in edmonton, alberta, canada image courtesy ball nogues studio


video courtesy of devin mcnulty


ball nogues speaking about yucca crater
video by julianne weiss
  • No WAY would I go swimming in such a thing . . . too many bugs and critters might have died in it . . . I once swam in a natural “pit” on an island in the gulf and was even wondering then where my senses were . . . what could have washed over the islands edge and gotten marooned in the water . . . eventually to die there unless a storm came up? No thanks. This is one of those art pieces that just doesn’t make sense to me.

    savannahjones says:
  • I dont get it. So you’re in a desert, you’re so thirsty, and they give you a place to swim at? i don’t think it would be ideal for drinking if you’re desperate either coz it would be so dirty from all the other people that have probably used the water for swimming. and like savannah said, it probably got buuuggsss… 😐

    Drei says:
  • I’m agree with both of comment above, it’s not a good idea :!

    behshid says:
  • is it just me, or does climbing in and out of this creation create a problem in itself, especially given the wet areas that will be created?

    cagey says:
  • I believe the piece is very pleasing to the eye, but from a practical perspective, how do you fill it above the 15ft water mark given the sloping profile? Also what are the floating objects in the side elevation (I can’t imagine)?

    “promoting ecologically minded and waste
    free construction”. Are you for real? Steel has a high embodied energy, as well as it being a finite carbon productive resource… nevermind the CNC waste generated during the production of the plates or the structure.

    Building a swimming pool in desert, yeah like that sounds like it’s terribly ecologically minded!

    cagey says:
  • Like nearly everyone posting a comment here, this certainly appears to be art for art’s sake…

    I’m throwing out the idea that those “floating objects” i the side elevation are…climbing wall holds…yes.

    What’s with the talus dome image?

    This site is really reaching for content…too bad, it’s disappointing at best.

    crowdesign says:
  • I particularly like that the climbing wall holds only get you halfway out, is this a statement about the dangers of desire and temtation?

    mcnemo says:
  • To me it looks like the grey dots are wall-rockclimbing elements, and the water is only filled up to the 8 something mark. So you can climb the wall, and when you fall, you fall in the water. That is of course if you don’t hit an edge and knock yourself out and drown.

    123 says:
  • yeah, it looks dangerous. Probably super hot in there. Pass out and drown. Better cut a door in it.

    LML says:
  • let’s call it art – or in other words design that doesn’t work.

    argh says:
  • All of these comments are ridiculous. Where’s your sense of adventure?
    Art should trump design in most situations.

    mortalfools says:

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