Moltz Landscape: Arizona
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Year Completed: 2008
Square Footage: 140 sq ft (Project Area)
Photographer: Bill Timmerman
Structural: Harris Engineering Services, Ilc
Contractor: Kern Builders
Landscape Installation: Ibarra Landscapes
The client asked us a simple question, “How can I get my guests to use the front door?” Though the question was simple, the solution was perplexing.
The original house’s planning confused the sense of arrival. Since the only door visible to the parking area was a utility door, it was not unusual to find visitors tiredly knocking in vain. The actual front door is found around the corner, on the side of the house, but only if one knows to look for it.
This presented a challenge because accessing the hidden door, around the corner, requires visitors to uncomfortably cut through outdoor private spaces.
We needed to find a way that shifted the focus away from the door you could see and made people feel confident that they were on a path to discovering proper entry, which they could not see.
We determined that a simple but commanding threshold marker was the solution. A double-cantilevered concrete shape was placed to salute guests as they walk by on their way between the existing house and a new patio wall. The patio wall not only screens the cars for privacy, but also helps to claim the opposite side’s space to hosts barbecue and stargazing evenings.
The land which once sloped at the front door, washing mud onto a brick arrival, was redefined by simple concrete benches and cantilevered platforms. The cantilevered slab appears to float above the desert floor. The owners say the experience is that of sailing on a stationary lawn chair, cool drink in hand, into the desert horizon.
It’s a rewarding feeling to help find ways to solve problems, however simple, that improve the lives of the people they intend to serve.
Merit Award by Custom Home Magazine: Outdoor Spaces, Moltz Landscape (2009)
"Structural Design and Innovation" Award by the Arizona Chapter of the American Concrete Institute, Moltz Landscape (2008)