Six celebrates Joesler’s architectural legacy and what is loosely described as the “Tucson style” connected with him: sensitivity to the desert landscape; Mexican-architecture-inspired elements; and the use of courtyards, plastered walls and minimized western exposure. In turn, the Dreamspace team is building with materials like concrete, glass, steel and aluminum to recall and intensify the effects of these elements. Highly insulated Integra block walls, as with adobe, use thermal mass to regulate the interior temperature. In the 73-year-old home, plastered walls protect the mud adobe; the contemporary homes also feature plastered finishes. So, too, the new homes benefit from minimal western exposure, reducing late-afternoon heat gain and glare.
For Ibarro and Rosano, architecture, interior design and landscape design are unified. “For us, architecture is space, not object, and the magic is in the manipulation of the experience, not the form,” Rosano says.
Pivoting steel doors take you through a courtyard to the home. The outdoor transitional spaces generate the light-suffused spaces within. As you enter the homes, the ceilings above the kitchen islands rise to accommodate clerestory windows, which allow balanced light from the south and north to shine into the dining and living areas below. Glu-Lam window seats overlook the courtyard and extend the gallery hall, which leads to the bedrooms and garage toward the outside. The master bedroom also opens to this courtyard, while the master bath and guest baths look onto smaller private courtyards. Glass tile and frosted-glass privacy screens in the baths refract light entering from the courtyards.
Desert light also reflects across the primarily white interiors, while other neutrals complement the steel, natural gray block and medium-gray concrete floors. Accent walls in the baths match their green and gray tile, while the yellow orange front door welcomes guests from the courtyard entry. The exterior walls are a light warm gray, providing reflection without glare.
Six represents what the architects call “simple shelters.” Says Rosano, “We strive to make extraordinary spaces with ordinary materials and apply logic and practicality so completely, they surpass their pragmatism and become art.”