Moon Cocoon

Off-grid site includes restoration of land and SuperAdobe structures on 10 acres in the Mojave Desert at 4,500 feet elevation.

+ about this project

The site includes SuperAdobe dome structures, a well, septic system, shipping container, in-ground trampoline bed, and water storage tanks. The surrounding land is undeveloped.

The domes were initially permitted by the previous land owners but never completed. The original design by Nadir Khalili was at least partially funded by NASA as part of Khalili's proposal to construct in-situ "super-adobe" structures on the surface of the moon.

A succession of previous owners scraped a significant amount of the vegetation and topsoil from the property, which is being restored using earthworks, deep mulching and other techniques to capture water and regenerate soil.

Underground pipes interconnect water, power and septic lines for the various structures. Systems also include small-scale solar and battery and a lounge in the front third of the shipping container. Berms protect from wind and create privacy from a dirt road.

moon cocoon with Andrea

  • moon cocoon water
    After multiple attempts connecting scrap electrical panels to an existing well pump, clear water finally emerged from 450 feet deep. When needed, it is pumped into water storage tanks above ground. All water use is carefully considered, limited, and recycled whenever possible. The recharge capacity of the well is about 500 gallons.
  • moon cocoon pipes
    Installing electrical, septic and water lines through an area that had been scraped by previous owners.
  • Moon cocoon basin
    Skylight for the main dome built from scrap wood, a found steel form, and scrap 1/4 inch polycarbonate. The base will eventually be stuccoed with open spaces for venting.
  • Moon cocoon stained glass
    Salvaged stained glass window installed on southwest side of the entry chamber.
  • Moon cocoon steps
    Steps carved from the trailer to the shipping container.
  • Moon cocoon plaster top
    Plastering around the oculus in the main dome. The interior of the structure was eroding and completely exposed. Metal lathe and three coats of concrete plaster is carefully applied by hand.
  • moon cocoon compost
    Composting straw and goat manure cleaned out from the neighbor's goat farm.
  • moon cocoon mulberry
    A solitary Mulberry tree grows on the adjacent abandoned property. Receiving no supplemental water on a scraped, exposed section of the hillside where almost nothing else survives, it explodes with fruit year after year. The tree is cloned from cuttings and planted at other locations or shared with desert neighbors.
  • Moon cocoon basin
    An outdoor bathtub drains into a mulch basin to irrigate shrubs and mesquite trees that will eventually provide shade, food, and privacy.
  • Moon cocoon floor
    Installing the stone floor in the main dome.
  • Moon cocoon lounge
    The front 3rd of the shipping container converted to a lounge with furniture from the trailer.
  • Moon cocoon gem pile
    The "gem pile" of scrap materials for re-use.