Residential Design

Vol. 2, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Vroom With A View If the Case Study modernists were alive today, how would they have felt about the ancient Japanese concept of wabi-sabi? Perhaps, they might have embraced the idea. The acceptance and celebration of imperfection rises to an art form when all that surrounds it is carefully considered and executed. And it may be at its most beautiful when the objects allowed to weather and age are manmade, nature reasserting her dominion over them. Surveying this house in the Catalina foothills of the Sonoran Desert in Tucson, you can track the bread crumbs back to the midcentury masters—but the land- scape left wild and the steel structure left untreated trace back even further in time and distance. Architect Rob Paulus, AIA, referred to the houses of Neutra and Schindler when he started thinking about this project. His assignment was liberal, but had some built- in constraints. The client's budget was very tight, the program somewhat unusual, and the site required a gentle touch. Even more intimidating, the client's father was an architect of some local renown; his heyday was the midcentury period. "The client didn't have any precon- ceived notions of what the house should look like, but he did give us a six-page document of things he wanted," says Rob. "He gave us a crack at the concept, and his father took a crack at it, too. Our concepts were very similar. He was very modern." The major twist to the program was that it should accommodate more cars than human occupants. The client, an electrical engineer ("the most sought-after in the area," says Rob) and a bachelor, collects muscle cars and wanted them housed, well, in the house. He also wanted his bedroom on the main floor and room for an office and guests. There were views to harness as well, and ones to edit, according to Rob. The budget drove the choice of materi- als— block walls, standard wood framing for interior walls, laminate kitchen count- ers, concrete floors in the lower level, and mini-splits for heating and cooling. There's lots of beautiful steel, but it's uncoated against the elements. "Initially we were go- ing to paint the steel, but the cost precluded it," says Rob. "That was fortuitous. Over time it will rust out, but here it's so dry that DESIGN LAB 46 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2017

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