Catalina House

Studio Rick Joy is a firm favourite at Decor Punk, so we are delighted to feature Rick’s first house which was created back in 1998…..the gorgeous Catalina House.

The house’s gaze is transfixed on the view of the dramatic Catalina Mountain Range to the northeast—a given. 

Three forms, arranged in a defiant stance like a wagon train, camp around a fragile complex of saguaro cactuses, mesquite trees, and burrowing fauna.

The main house is divided into two clearly defined “wings”.  The general living and entertaining areas to the east are open and airy indoor-outdoor spaces. 

The private zone to the west is turned slightly to capture early morning sun and generally assumes the posture of a cave. 

The resulting geometries are translated three-dimensionally by battered rammed-earth wall planes and reversed gable roof forms. 

The various slopes are positioned for their effect on the house’s spatial experiences.  A coarse exterior shell presents itself to the harsh environment of the desert, while soft sensual cherry wood is used for interior elements.

The garage, a framed form with weathered steel cladding, was built after the main house. Its site was used as the staging area for the construction of the rammed earth walls.  As a result, no trees or cacti were destroyed on the site and only one additional tree was planted.

The use of tactile materials offset against each other create a drama to match the views of the Catalina Mountains.

Large windows follow the line of the roof to create a dramatic geometry.

Photography by Bill Timmerman

Architecture & Design by Studio Rick Joy

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