Cox, an artist and designer working in metal, glass, photography, and video, had grown up all across the Pacific Northwest. But as an adult, after moving to Ketchum, Idaho, she desired even more remove. That’s when Cox began to hatch a plan to build a home in Southern Idaho’s high desert, far from even the state’s small towns. After almost a decade of tweaking the design with architect Tom Kundig, Cox settled into the house in 2008.
The small, minimalist structure—which triples as living quarters, studio, and sculpture garden—was forged primarily from organic, unaltered materials. “A premise of the house is that as many materials as possible were used in their direct, immediate form,” Cox has said
. She saw the space as a sanctuary where art—and not only her own—could live, breathe, and interact with the surrounding desert landscape, which can be seen through large windows from almost every corner of the home. To that end, in addition to filling the home with her own work, she commissioned artist and designer friends to contribute elements like silverware and other functional embellishments. While the house was put up for sale last year, it lives on as a creative oasis.
Jorge Pardo, Mérida, Mexico
“I liked the heat, I liked the old houses, and it seemed like the closest place that you could feel really far away from the States that I could find,” explained
contemporary sculptor and installation artist
of his home in Mérida, Mexico. He first visited the city while on honeymoon in 2000, and traveled back often thereafter; in 2003, he worked on a commission for Haunch of Venison there, a space that was at once artwork and abode. He came to feel so comfortable in the city, that he eventually moved there for good. The white stucco structure, in Mérida’s historic center, is covered in potted succulents and palms and accented with Pardo’s own signature light fixtures, and patterned tiles that look as if they could make their way seamlessly into one of the exuberant, kaleidoscopic installations the artist has become known for.
But the space, more than brainstorm hive or an art gallery, is a home for Pardo and his partner
; even their studios are situated outside of its walls. And its most important quality is its distance from busy art hubs (the closest being L.A., where Pardo also has a home). “There’s nothing about the art world around us here; there’s nothing to do with fashion; there’s nothing up to speed in the contemporary world,” Pardo has said. “I don’t like the idea of living in an important house.” For Pardo, a separation between work and life is paramount.