The spectacular views on this Arizona property change daily from sunrise to sunset, as well as throughout the seasons. "Some of the most amazing views occur during monsoon season, when stunning thunderhead lightning storms move across the mountains," says architect Mark Tate of Tate Design Studio. "Our unofficial nickname for this house is 'Cloud Chaser.'" The landscape was a driving factor from daydream to completed dream home for an Ohio couple who fell in love with the area after vacationing there for many years. They bought the property for the views, and Tate let the clients' wish to live within the desert landscape guide his design.
"The clients lived in a typical Midwestern house that was private, closed-in and didn't embrace the beautiful environment around them. They knew they wanted to live more simply in a space that was open, airy and connected to the landscape, and then they pretty much gave us free rein to design a home that met their needs and goals," says Tate. "They chose this lot because they loved the spectacular views, and we visited the site many times to design a house that made the most of it." The design takes its cues from the site, and Tate ensured that the couple could "live in the view" from every room of the house.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple originally from Ohio
Location: North of Scottsdale, Arizona
Size: 6,300 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths
Year built: 2011
That's interesting: The architect's wife, Lisa Tate, is a builder with Platinum Builders, which built this house.
"The architecture of the house was completely site driven," says Mark Tate. "The land had a curved spine along it that we followed with the hallway of the house."
Tate's response to the spine was a series of radial lines emanating from it. Some of the walls as well as other lines in the house are radii off the curve, providing interesting angles throughout the home.
The house was also set up to make the most of the north and northeast views of the mountains. "There are the most spectacular sunsets in these mountains, but a west-facing house makes sunsets intolerable here," explains Tate. He used 3-D modeling on a computer to thoroughly study the sun orientation.