a tiny cabin is shaped by repurposed steel and saguaro bones in the sonoran desert

a tiny cabin is shaped by repurposed steel and saguaro bones in the sonoran desert

a growing cabinland


In the vast expanse of the Sonoran Desert, where monumental cacti dominate the landscape, a new addition to the whimsical world of Cabinland has emerged. The Desert Cabin, the creation of creative duo Sara Underwood and Jacob Witzling, is a testament to their artistic vision and their ability to blend contrasting inspirations into an harmonious creation of timber and steel. As the latest completion in their ongoing project, the tiny cabin in the desert stands as a unique architectural sculpture, a captivating dwelling topped by a living rooftop that transports visitors straight into a storybook.

cabinland desertimages courtesy Jacob Witzling and Sara Underwood



ancient temples meet space capsules in the sonoran desert


Unveiling their newest Cabinland addition in the desert, Sara Underwood and Jacob Witzling illustrate a glimpse into their creative process and eclectic blend of influences. Drawing inspiration from space capsules and ancient Central American temples, Witzling and Underwood have crafted a unique structure that stands apart from its surroundings while still respecting the natural beauty of the desert.


With a ninety square-foot octagonal base, the Desert Cabin embodies sustainability and resourcefulness. Every material used in its construction has been salvaged, lending an authentic and rustic charm to the structure. From the trim to the metal siding, and even the saguaro bones adorning the door, the Desert Cabin is a testament to the duo’s commitment to repurposing and reducing waste.

cabinland desert



metal in the desert


One might question the choice of metal in the heat of the desert. However, Underwood and Witzling debunk any misconceptions by explaining that steel is a commonly used material in the area. Contrary to popular belief, metal siding does not intensify the heat inside the cabin. In fact, steel’s reflective properties help mitigate the sun’s radiant heat. To give the metal siding a unique character, the team treated it with a solution of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and salt, creating a captivating patina that complements the desert surroundings.

cabinland desert



The Cabinland creators take inspiration from the classic tale of ‘James and the Giant Peach,’ as a staircase spirals around the desert structure, constructed from rich redwood. This feature not only adds an element of whimsy but also leads visitors to a viewing point at its garden rooftop, which hosts a variety of cacti and succulents. From this vantage, the duo can appreciate the stunning desert landscape which stretches endlessly to disappear into the horizon beyond.


As Cabinland continues to evolve, we eagerly anticipate the next work from this dynamic duo, as each creation exemplifies their playful artistic sensibilities and respect for the rugged beauty of the natural world.

a tiny cabin is shaped by repurposed steel and saguaro bones in the sonoran desert
the truncated pyramid is capped with a tiny garden of native succulents and cacti

a tiny cabin is shaped by repurposed steel and saguaro bones in the sonoran desertthe front door is clad in a pattern of saguaro cactus bones


Sara Underwood, Jacob Witzling, and their dogs celebrate the cabin’s completion

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