Epic in size and scope yet intimate in ambiance and style, STRATA is a private family retreat that epitomizes modernist design in the scenic Sonoran Desert.
STRATA came about when three masters of their craft—the architect, interior designer and builder—collaborated on a contemporary estate for a couple looking to build a home for entertaining family and friends that would also serve their personal needs without overwhelming them. STRATA, it seems, lives both big and small.
Designed on 250 acres on the outskirts of Phoenix, the residence comprises four buildings—the primary residence, a multi-car garage, a game arcade, and an exercise/manager’s suite. The overall essence of the structures, horizontal in nature, complements the sprawling mountain ranges in the distance.
The owners wanted contemporary, but they also wanted their home to be elegant and organic. A restrained materials palette used consistently throughout includes stucco, SIREWALL (rammed earth), mill-scale fascia, glass, concrete (flooring) and wood (ceilings), providing continuity without being overly complex.
To keep the 70,000-square-foot estate from feeling too overwhelming, C.P. Drewett created pavilion-like spaces where the owners could live easily when alone. Examples include a two-car garage that leads to the kitchen; a cozy sitting room; and the primary suite, all of which feel nestled in, making one side of the residence feel like an elegant New York City apartment.
Amenities throughout the compound are noteworthy. A showcase garage houses an enviable collection of classic cars. Guest suites with private sitting areas open to intimate patio spaces. A wellness center offers a fully equipped gym, a Himalayan salt room, and a massage therapy area. And in the arcade, it’s all about entertainment, with shuffleboard, ping-pong, billiards, a custom poker table, a bar and a wine room.
Outdoors, zenlike water features surrounded by indigenous desert greenery create a serene ambiance, with splashes of color appearing throughout the year. The overall look is fresh, welcoming and regionally appropriate.
In January 2023, Drewett Works’ first book, STRATA a desert dwelling (Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers), was published. Filled with vivid imagery by photographer Werner Segarra, informative text, and detailed drawings, the 268-page hardcover book offers an in-depth look into the makings of this extraordinary home.
Project Details//STRATA—a desert dwelling
Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
Architecture: Drewett Works
Builder: Desert Star Construction
Interiors: David Michael Miller Associates
Landscape designer: Berghoff Design Group
Photography: Werner Segarra
Videography: Phoenix Drone Service