6705 N Placita Arquilla, Tucson, AZ 85718 (MLS# 22212787)
6705 N Placita Arquilla, Tucson, AZ 85718
Supplements: With care taken not to alter the original aesthetic of this mid-century gem, the exterior spaces of the property have undergone a complete transformation, elevating them in every way. An absolute knockout, aesthetically, but more than that--a home that lends itself to the enjoyment of nature, friends and family ... and moments of quiet solitude inside and out. As good as it looks in images, it feels even more special in person. What's remarkable here is that, as a property in this market, it represents a rare opportunity to enjoy a huge and perfectly executed outdoor space in the heart of the upper Foothills without having to take on the "too-big" house that often goes with it. On a prime spot in the quiet mid-point of beautiful Coronado Foothills Estates, only a hundred yards or so down from a neighborhood-owned natural space, it's easy to see why this smartly designed and true-to-its-roots '64, sited on a subtle rise, was the perfect canvas on which to paint an outdoor-living masterwork. Neat as a pin, with the sublime balance of wood beams, burnt adobe, and clean white walls in every space, an interior that could live just as it is for years to come, or be updated with only minor adjustments. On the outside, an acre transformed: with white travertine, emerald turf, and native stone walls, all working perfectly together to create a feel unlike any other...a pitch-perfect combination of surfaces, color, and reflected light at all hours of day. And while this one of those special places that impress at every hour, it's late in the day when it takes on a character that sets it apart. In the golden hours of the late afternoon, whether looking back at the clean lines and warm texture of the adobe, or catching the glow of the mountains at sunset, cast down onto the emerald turf, the crushed white quartz borders, and the expertly crafted natural stone walls, one really does get the sense of stepping across the line, into the original architect's sketch, as they might have imagined it one day could be...almost like the light, the color, and the vibrancy of it all have somehow blurred the line between the visualized and the actual. A metamorphosis has occurred here, maximizing the usable space (and there's so much of it here on this 1 acre lot), and managing to do it smartly at every turn. The walls and terrace abutments were expertly constructed by accomplished local artisans, using rock excavated from this very lot -- in accord with the revered southwest tradition of sourcing materials on-site, the walls are literally of this place. The choice of surfacing materials, too, combines for an effect on the eye and the living experience that is at once dazzling, with reflective travertine walkways and crushed rock borders, and soothing, with the slow track of palo verde and mesquite shadows across the verdant turf play areas combining for a magical effect. A showplace at all times of day, the backyard takes on a character all its own in the afternoon hours, as the mix of sunlight and shade make for a slow-moving tapestry of green and gold light. The front, north-facing upper yard, too, is special in its own right -- with an orientation toward towering mountain vistas, and semi-elevated above the seldom-trafficked street to the north. The views, light, and sense of place here in this front walled garden are perhaps the most dramatic in the first few hours of the day, when the early morning sun crests the ridges to the east, and filters down through the canyons and towering saguaros. While the immediate attention-getters are the pool and garden spaces, and the classic combination of burnt adobe and overhead beams and planks inside and out, perhaps the real star of this place might be the breezeway. This breezeway is aptly named, with the north-south axis of this outdoor living space perfectly situated to funnel in surprisingly consistent airflow (not to mention its nearly perfect orientation up toward Finger Rock). This indoor-outdoor space, a hallmark of mid-century design, lives like a family room, with over 300 sqft of covered patio space in the sheltered area between main home and carport that serves as the hub of morning through evening activity year-round. Even in the heat of the summer, the volume of air that naturally passes through this north-south oriented passage makes it comfortable enough to entertain, dine, work-from-home, or just sit and enjoy either of the views. And what views they are. From the concrete-topped patio table at its south end, a perfect place to overlook the pool, the emerald green landscaped play surface, and the Santa Ritas far to the south... all while enjoying a meal, working from home, or watching the last hours of the day unwind through the trees with friends. And on the north end of that space? One of the best views of Finger Rock you'll find. From dawn 'til dusk, an ideal spot from which to enjoy the ever-changing interplay of light and shadow across the Santa Catalinas. The space is perfectly suited for an outdoor living room set, and visitors who come calling won't be blamed for settling here for conversation and never wanting to go further. And there it is, really, in this unassuming pass-through: a design concept made reality, where the space enhances the daily experiences of the people lucky enough to live in it. The amount of time and life that have been spent "out here", and the pure enjoyment that this space lends itself to can not be overstated. It is the hub of the wheel, connecting the lives of anyone living here... to Beauty, with the stunning views to the north and south ... to Joy, with the easy ability to host and play with friends and family in upper or lower yards... and to Function, as the connecting point between kitchen, laundry, office/storage, and carport. Rarely does a space that could in most cases be regarded as just a through-way become the integral space that this breezeway does. But with its combination of views, flow, and the kind of natural but gentle downslope foothills ventilation that makes this space comfortable year-round, this seemingly unremarkable space is quite the opposite. The 12.5m (41') salt water swimming pool is as well-suited for serious lap swimmers as it is for entertaining and leisure. Reimagined and resurfaced in 2021, with an inset spa in the NW corner, and surrounded by a relatively-cool-to-the-touch travertine paver surface deck, it's not hard to imagine this being the center of activity in the extended swimming seasons. (But as comfortable as it is, it's the kind of pool that one might enjoy just as frequently from the dry side. It is gorgeous on it's own.) Custom metalworks form the patio railing, and frame views from the patio, as well as tie in with the visual screen that separates breezeway and kitchen from carport. A circle-in-square design inspired by the carport wall's original breezeblock, it adds just the right amount of geometry, without being obtrusive, painted as they are a soft gray-green tone. A design element that rings true to the homes modern roots, with a nod toward a Palm Springs vibe. Beyond just being aesthetically pleasing, though, this home is future-oriented in the long-term, with roof, gutter, and solar systems having all been added or improved in the last 2 years. Atop the roof, itself silicone-coated in Fall 2020, sits an impressive 37-panel PV solar array, newly installed in 2021, and generating about 10kwh, enough net capacity for the home's daily needs over the course of a year. The solar array has been enough to power not only the house's daily electrical needs, but that of the pool, heating it and extending swimming on-demand into the shoulder seasons with an efficient electric heat pump. Lastly, but notably, especially in the current economic climate, the PV array has excess capacity to have powered a very busy-family's daily driver (through a dedicated 500w charging circuit in the carport). While the full use of car charging, HVAC, and pool pump and heating can outpace the generation capacity of the PV array in certain months, the credits generated through the system throughout the year provide a net positive balance of power generation between use and PV output. Notably, too, though the current HVAC split system uses a gas furnace for heat, the PV array was installed with the thought that at some time in the future the heating and air conditioning could be a purely electrically-powered system, and that between pool, pool heat, HVAC, car charging, and everyday use, the entire household's energy needs could be covered by the net production of the solar array. New gutters and downspouts, installed in 2021, efficiently carry water away from the fascia and the walls, while blending seamlessly, visually, and preserving the home's streamlined look. And yet after having said all that, there are things yet unmentioned: the solar-powered sliding remote control drive-entry gate...the bonus office space off the carport, with unexpected mountain views...the number of towering saguaros, glowing with perfectly cast landscape spots and floods as the daylight fades...the water-sensible plantings, designed thoughtfully toward a native-water-only need level by 2023...A dining room space, with a picture-perfect framed view of the Santa Catalinas....the smartly designed back patio, which is oriented just perfectly to catch full sun all day in the winter, and cast a warming effect into the house in the coolest months, yet provide deep shade from the sun in the hottest times of year.... a free-standing and custom-finished self-contained "Farm Wall" vertical garden system, on which grow towers of Basil, Kale, Arugula, Bib Lettuce; all with surprisingly little effort and upkeep. All in all, an absolutely remarkable property. The photos and video, as stunning as they are, do not adequately convey the feel of it all, especially late in the day. An incredible place.