3/4 mile down a dirt trail along a stream and quiet dorm rooms you will come to an opening of rolling hills and mountains, horses, deer, and an abundance of butterflies. A stone arch and map carved in wood welcomes you to Poly Canyon Design Village aka The Architecture Graveyard.
Design Village is an annual competition and is required curriculum for Cal Polys architecture students. The students must design and construct inhabitable structures. Most structures are removed but some remain for decades, decorating the hills. When you visit this popular hiking spot, you will be so busy exploring you wont even notice you are working out! I couldn't help but feel inspired and excited by the creativity of the student architects and the beautiful world they built, and will build in the future!
Allow me to take you on a photographic tour with model Ann Roth and Vintage from Porcelain Matchbox. Photographed and Styled by yours truly.
The first sculpture, and my personal favorite, is the concrete flower built in 1964.
This blue house with a Dr.Suess-ish painting in front is called the Pole House, not open to the public. Built in 1980. Model is wearing her own fur coat and Vintage dress from Porcelain Matchbox.
Another favorite structure is the Geodesic Dome, built in 1964. Inside the dome is wooden seating crafted into the side of the hill with a small stage. Model wears sunglasses from Quay Australia.
The Underground House, Built in 1982
Dancing during sunset. I could not find information about the bridge, wooden door and wall sculpture. but the white arch is the Straw Bale Arch, one of the newer designs, 2009.
The Shell House, in background, makes us feel like we are in a different country. one of the few structures you can go inside. It has a kitchen, shelves for storage, and a clever seating area with fire place. Built in 1963
We were chasing the sunlight and ended our shoot where it began at the Concrete Flower. There are many more structures and areas of the design village to explore if you are ever in San Luis Obispo to visit. Its a beautiful creative spot and an easy hike for all to enjoy.
Shop the vintage looks on Etsy - https://www.etsy.com/shop/porcelainmatchbox
Till the next adventure!