New Mexico


The American West merges with the Far East on a 27,000-acre Wagyu-cattle ranch in a ghost town called Golden, New Mexico. Tucson-based architect Rick Joy designed a six-bedroom house for a couple who inherited the land. “They went to Japan, learned all about [Wagyu], got the stock, and put together this company selling beef around the country,” says Joy. “Interestingly, the house turned out to be very Japanese in feel.”

The linear wood-frame retreat is clad in charred cedar, produced by a Japanese process called shou-sugi-ban, which makes it fire- and insect-resistant. An eastern influence continues inside, where two bedroom wings are separated by an open central living-and-dining area, which is brightened by a board-formed, poured-in-place concrete fireplace wall and quarter-sawn white oak floors. Walls of windows on the north and south frame views of the desert and Lone Mountain, after which the house is named.

A galvanized steel twisted hip roof shades north- and south-facing decks, extending the living space. Because the client is a “weekend astronomer,” Joy designed a hidden roof terrace for stargazing that is accessed by an exterior stair. Glass slots between the roof and the internal parapet wall of the lowered deck bring daylight to the interior. With its connections to the outdoors, the house's allure is the landscape. “They have a big family,” says Joy. “Everybody goes out there for ropin' and ridin'.”


Mary Lloyd and
Robert Estrin

Rick Joy Architects
400 S. Rubio Ave. Tucson AZ 85701
p: 520-624-1442
f: 520-791-0699

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect(s) or architectural firm(s): Rick Joy Architects, Inc.
Principal(s) in charge: Rick Joy
(Registered Architect)
Design team: Philipp Neher, Nicolas Norero
Project Manager: Philipp Neher
Project team: Claudia Kappl, Nicolas Norero, Luat Duong, Stephanie Griffith, Natalia Zieman


Engineer: Harris Engineering

Landscape: Michael Boucher Landscape Architects

Lighting: Rick Joy Architects, Claudia Kappl

General contractor:
Paul W. Kenderdine Inc.

Peter Ogilvie
(505) 820-6001

Renderer: Rick Joy Architects

CAD system, project management,
or other software used:


Building area:

indoors = 4,800 sf
outdoors = 3,200 sf

Gross square footage:

Site area: 27,000 acres

Completion date:




Structural system:
Framed building with charred cedar wood siding at exterior and drywall at interior.

Exterior cladding:
Other cladding unique to this project:
Charred cedar wood siding (by contractor)

Distorted hip roof with two low points for water collection and a central roof terrace.

Metal: Galvanized B-Deck

Metal frame: Anodized Aluminum, Fleetwood.

Glass: Insulated UV

Skylights : Insulated tempered glass, custom

Entrances: Custom wood frame with glass infill door.
Wood: Rough sawn Douglas Fir

Wood doors: Custom solid wood doors ' hinged or pivot, with white varnish white oak finish

Locksets: FSB

Pulls: Amerock

Interior finishes:
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Quarter sawn select oak with white varnish finish

Paints and stains: American Clay plaster

Floor and wall tile:
Shower walls: 2x2 ceramic tile

Raised flooring: Tigerwood deck

Special interior finishes unique to this project:
Two color stained concrete slabs throughout, except: Center living space with quarter sawn select white varnished oak wood floor.
Stainless steel kitchen counter/island

Chairs: Vintage

Tables: Custom made walnut

Interior ambient lighting:
Various: Catellani Smith, Flos

Downlights: Purelighting
90% of architectural lighting: RJA custom with LFF
Kitchen island task-light: RJA custom with LFF
Dining pendant: RJA custom with LFF

Task lighting: Artemide, Flos

Exterior: Viabizzuno, Dreamscaping

Dimming System or other lighting controls:
Lutron Diva

La Toscana

Suitable for Propane gas '
Subzero Refrigerators Freezers
Dacor wall ovens and BBQ
Wolf downdraft burner cooktop
Gagganau Steamer Fisher Paykal

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Wildfire mitigation via exterior landscape sprinklers and charred cedar wood siding
Water harvesting via two large cistern tanks (recycled B-Deck)
Galvanized custom steel gutters