The Slice Duplex

The Slice Duplex

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Year Completed: 2003

Square Footage: 1740 sq ft per unit


Developer: Dreamspace, llc

Photographer: Bill Timmerman

Structural: Caruso Turley Scott

Mechanical / Electrical: Carlson Company

Contractor: Repp Design + Construction


The Slice lot is a 40' x 155' thin slice of land in the center of Barrio Blue Moon, an old and forgotten neighborhood in Tucson near the University of Arizona and downtown.

The design of the Slice is a duplex that features two back-to-back homes with mirrored floor plans; each with a side garden and neighborly entrances on opposite streets.

The slender proportion and curved roofline are a direct result of the challenging zoning regulations, which further compounded the site’s slenderness.

Our desire to create light-filled, flexible and functional spaces to serve young families in the area, pushed us toward a design that thrives in spite of imposed zoning constraints.

The lot’s ideal Tucson orientation served in exposing only the narrowest faces of the building to the low rising and setting sun. Meanwhile, numerous windows on the broad north side take advantage of indirect sunlight resulting in open, naturally lit space.

The first floor forms a single, large open room containing the living, cooking, and dining areas with sliding doors opening onto the north and south patio gardens – effectively extending the living spaces to the lot edges.

Upstairs three bedrooms and their adjoining hall reveal the vaulted roof form and are bathed in diffused light, creating an ethereal quality beneath the curved ceiling.

While the shape of the Slice is different from its neighbors, the massing and the materiality relate to the historic adobe structures in the neighborhood, which have tall, relatively blank, plastered walls close to the street. The form and spaces within are derived from setbacks and zoning requirements, as well as the elements of wind and sun – all a direct response to the site conditions of this unique infill lot in a desert town.



AIA Southern Arizona 2005 "Home of the Year"