Winter Residence Remodel

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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Year Completed: 2003

Square Footage: 3500 sq ft


Photographer: Bill Timmerman


Contractor: Repp Design + Construction

Landscape: Ibarra Landscapes


The Winter Residence transformation began as a simple request to remodel the bathrooms. The clients expressed a desire to live in the minimal, modern bathing spaces they enjoyed in their world travels. However the spaces we encountered were far from the contemplative feel of the modern spas and boutique hotels they described. The spatial qualities in their original baths were dark, awkward and ungracious.

The rest of the 1940’s brick house was a tired, convoluted floor plan of trapped interiors, lacking daylight and furnish-able space. It soon became obvious to all of us that the transformation of the bathrooms would need to extend to the remainder of the house. Though a complete teardown was considered, it was ultimately decided that remodeling would be more appropriate.

In this more comprehensive view, the first step in beginning the transformation was removing a large, double sided, load-bearing fireplace that dominated and bisected the living spaces. With the fireplace gone and the chimney turned into a skylight, the liberated spaces are now filled with soothing daylight. The removal of this behemoth freed square footage, which we then re-appropriated to reorganize the master closet and bath.

The creation of several intimate courtyards and patios throughout the house gives a feeling of exterior connection while providing shelter and privacy for the bedrooms and baths.

Instrumental in extending the new spa-like qualities to the outdoors was the decision to demolish the original leaking, kidney bean-shaped pool that crowded the backyard. Now taking its place is a new, blue glass tiled pool and floating concrete pads which provides an enticing and refreshing focal point for the interior family spaces.Eliciting the harmonious and serene light qualities of a cloud's interior, the spaces are now more functional and peaceful.

Natural light now rejuvenates the life of the home, eliciting the harmony and serenity the client was seeking. As soon as the remodeling dust settled, the owners loved the idea that they no longer have to board planes to experience the joys of good space, traveling instead to their personal spa-like retreat in the desert.

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