The DUST-designed Tucson Mountain Retreat is located within the Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona in an expanse filled with cacti, greenery, and sun exposure. Wanting to minimize the impact on the land, careful effort was made when the structure was sited.
Space for parking cars was purposefully placed over 400 feet from the house, requiring the homeowners and visitors to follow a path and engage with the desert. As you get closer to the home, the structure begins to reveal itself slowly with each step as you approach.
The concrete steps placed at random heights are almost Tetris like.
The home is made of Rammed Earth, which has virtually no negative environmental impact and uses widely available soil, making it the perfect material for the arid region.
The house is surrounded by outdoor living space, both covered and uncovered, extending the square footage of the home. It also allows for enjoyment of the lush desert views that surround the residence.
When the sliding glass doors are open, the indoor/outdoor separation disappears, really opening the space up.
They incorporated a 30,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system since water is scarce in the desert.
Photos by Jeff Goldberg/ESTO.