Taking it to the Desert With Dwell Home Tours

After a successful kick-off program in San Diego, we’re now making our way to Scottsdale, Arizona for the second stop on our Dwell Home Tours series. As the only desert locale on our agenda, we’re giving visitors the chance to explore exquisite modern residences that are fully immersed in the city’s arid landscape.
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On Saturday, May 21st, we’ll be hosting self-guided tours of five incredible homes that have been specially selected by Dwell editors. Because of Arizona’s distinct climate, the architects who designed the houses had to devise adaptable and sustainable ways of working with their harsh surroundings.

One of our featured homes is the Jarson Residence, designed by Will Bruder of Will Bruder Architects and characterized by a simple shed roof with deep overhangs. The exterior of the sculptural structure is covered with rusted steel and copper that blends well with the surrounding rocky topogrpahy. 

By signing up for the tours, you’ll receive a complimentary ticket to Meet the Architects night, which will take place on Friday, May 20th at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Make sure to mark your calendars for a night of cocktails, light bites, and conversation with the featured architects and designers. To register for the Scottsdale tours and Meet the Architects night, sign up here—and to learn more about our next five stops on the program, follow this link. On the day of the tours, be sure to pick up your tickets at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where you’ll receive a Home Tour Maplet that will act as your key to entering each house. 

Follow us as we give you a sneak peek into the five Scottsdale residences we’ll be sharing later this month.

With floors made of cork and concrete, the house is surrounded by substantial panels of translucent glass. The double-height living room acts as a collective open space that looks out to the dramatic views of the desert. 

Another stop will be the House on Marion, which was constructed with simple production techniques in the form of a rectangular mass. As a project led by Karin Santiago of Lightvox Studio, the house was built to replace a deteriorating structure. The final result celebrates the values of sustainable and affordable living. 

The design team's initial plans focused on maximizing views of Camelback Mountain and optimizing the orientation of the house in order to create a passive solar strategy. Heat gain and loss is reduced by the use of thermally broken windows and doors, a foam roofing system, and an Exterior Insulation and Finish system (EIFS).

The House on Marion is a perfect example of how a desert dwelling can be sustainably designed to work well with its sever environment, while also celebrating comfort and livability.

We'll also take you to the Heiny Residence, a midcentury modern house in which the current homeowners have lived in for the last 30 years. Designer Scott Roeder of StudioROEDER reworked the original 1958 design that was composed of two separate masonry structures linked by a series of trellises and gardens. Roeder's goal was to expand the interior space and outdoor gardens while sticking to the confines of the original footprint.

By making some crucial rearrangements, the interior space now takes in panoramic views of the garden, courtyard, and patio—all ideal for outdoor entertaining. 

We'll also be exploring the Byrne Residence, another home designed by Will Bruder of Will Bruder Architects. With the implementation of patios and courtyards with both shaded and exposed areas, this sculptural house is built for year-round indoor/outdoor living. The angular orientation of the structure allows for optimal views of the Sonoran Desert.

The Bryne Residence is made up of tilted masonry "canyon walls" and a combination of naturally patinated copper and acid etched galvanized metal. Because of the implementation of these materials, the color of the house changes with the shifting sunlight.

The Montecito residence—designed by Kristine Woolsey, now of MAYA Design—is yet another home we'll be sharing. Working with a midcentury gem that the homeowners wished to preserve, Woolsey updated it in ways that would make it more functional for a growing family. The first design decision they made was to embrace the existing butterfly roof and turn it into a thematic element.

Throughout the house, Woolsey opened up confined rooms to create spacious areas where the family can live and play together. One example is shown here, where she expanded the kitchen by connecting it to a banquet breakfast area.

After adding a garage, guest house, pool, and garden, Woolsey created a large patio designed for outdoor dinner parties where friends and family can spend long evenings enjoying the desert sunsets.


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