Tucson Mountain House, Tucson, Arizona

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Tucson Mountain House
Designer Rick Joy Architects, Tucson, Arizona, USA , AIA
Location Tucson, Arizona, USA
Date
Building Type House
Construction System Rammed earth
Climate Arid
Context Rural
Street Address
Notes 2004 Smithsonian Architecture Design Award

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This house in the foothills near Tucson, Arizona was designed for the region's harsh weather extremes, including severe daily temperature swings and long dry periods interrupted by torrential rains. A long circulation spine separates the two long parallel wings of the house. The larger wing contains a master bedroom suite at one end and a large, open common kitchen, dining, and living space at the other, with an enclosed utility room between. A guest bedroom and large covered patio make up the second, smaller wing.

To minimize environmental impact, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom house has a relatively small footprint, under 2,000 square feet (186 square meters), and features thick walls of rammed earth, made with local soil. These walls, up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) thick, also shield the living spaces from the harsh climate, reducing energy demands for heating and cooling. Generous windows punctuate the thick walls and provide natural light and connection to the beautifully austere landscape.

External Links

Classic Home 068 - ArchitectureWeek, 2006.1025

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