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Source+Design - July/August 2004

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Mountain Retreats: High-Altitude Getaways in Arizona and Colorado

Text by Nora Burba Trulsson / Photography by Marco Ricca and Pere Plannels


Red Rock House, Sedona, Arizona - Aldo Andreoli, Sanba International

Sources+Design coverItalian-born and educated, New York-based architect Aldo Andreoli never really intended to build a house in Sedona, Arizona, let alone move his practice, Sanba International, to this community in the red rocks. But life, and architecture, sometimes work in mysterious ways.

I came to Sedona for a meditation retreat in 1995, Andreoli explains, and I loved it here. I found a small lot, less than an acre, and decided to build myself a little vacation home, a mountain cabin.

The long, narrow lot dictated the home’s form, and its hillside setting was inspired by views of nearby Boynton Canyon, the Cockscomb red rock formation and views of Jerome, an old copper mining town, miles in the distance.

However, a rustic log cabin wasn’t actually in Andreoli's vocabulary. Given his background in contemporary design, coupled with the loft projects he had been designing in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, the Sedona home evolved into a contemporary, loft-like dwelling, with privacy toward the street and vast expanses of glass toward the views.

The home's simple rectangular form, topped by a barrel-vaulted roof, follows the lines of the sloping lot. In plan, the 3,000-square-foot home’s main living/dining area, kitchen, master suite and two additional bedrooms. A lower level, tucked in at the base of the lot’s slope, includes a studio space, small kitchen and laundry.

While the exterior's stacked flagstone walls and copper-clad roof are a nod to native materials, Andeoli’s interior pays homage to the best in Italian/International modern design. Against a backdrop of deeply hued jarrah wood flooring, a tongue-in-groove pine ceiling and touches of Italian mosaic tile, the architect has put together a collection of sleek — and humorous — pieces. A plastic cactus by Gufran, designed in the 1970s, greets guests in the entry, as does a shoe cabinet designed by Alessandro Mendini, once a member of the Memphis design group. Dining furniture from Ligne Roset shares space with a Gae Aulenti coffee table. In the kitchen, done in Varenna cabinetry through Poliform, two Cappellini stools grace a butcher block counter in a windowed niche.

Andreoli also kept the exterior living spaces sleek and dramatic. A wedge-shaped negative-edge pool sets off the back of the house. The pool patio is surrounded by a red stuccoed wall, punctuated by a blue-tiled outdoor shower. Part of the patio is sheltered by louvered overhangs, which can be adjusted for sun control or rain.

After the home was finished, Andreoli realized he liked the home, and Sedona, as more than just a vacation retreat. He opened an office here in 2001, and now designs his own edgy versions of mountain cabins for other clients. ⊕

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