Hidden in a lush Arizona cypress forest, the Bristol Residence is a modestly sized home with rich detailing. The home is a “green” or sustainable design, with all walls built of solid, lightweight concrete. The timber-framed roof is an eclectic combination of sloping tile, copper-trimmed eaves and Pueblo-style parapets. Arizona moss rock surrounds traditionally sized windows with structural concrete lintels. Combined, these features lend a rustic, timeless quality to this Sedona Territorial, Arts and Crafts home.
Situated on a one-acre flag lot, with a small arm providing the driveway access, the residence is not visible from the road. The driveway curves through the forest to reach the home, which is carefully positioned among the trees at the top of the sloping lot.
The entry procession continues to the grand, sweeping front steps. The driveway slopes up to the right of the home to the hidden garage at the main floor level. To the left of the entry steps, a small walkway winds through the trees to the lower level guest suite.
A radiating, timber-framed trellis shelters the gracefully curved entry steps. The trellis has wisteria vines trained to form a canopy. At the far end of the trellis, a wrought-steel gate is set in a curving and stepping stone gateway. The stone gateway reaches down the hillside and steps up to the high parapet and provides additional privacy and security for the home.
The home’s exterior finishes are composed of wood timbers and painted stucco walls that provide a warm, smooth contrast to the stone.
Inside the entry gate is the front porch where a panoramic sweep of red rock is viewed through the forest.
The walls are made of solid, lightweight concrete blocks called AAC for Autoclaved, Aerated Concrete. The material was developed in Europe in the 1920’s and is made in two locations in Arizona.
AAC block is now becoming as popular as Rastra block or traditional adobe brick construction. However, it is environmentally superior to both as it is mostly composed of inert, Arizona industrial byproducts. It provides both thermal mass and integral insulation to temper the extreme high and low temperatures of the high desert. The 12-inch thick walls provide an insulation rating of about R-24.
The juniper entry door, created by local craftsman Randy Plapp, and the foyer are visible from the living room.
From the foyer, looking into the living room, layered timbers make the high vaulted ceilings cozy. The interior fireplaces are built of Arizona moss rock with crafted wood mantles. The living room floor is hard pine.
A glass-door display cabinet divides the living room from the dining room while allowing a visual connection. The stair railing, as well as the entry gate and exterior railings, were designed and crafted by the owner. At the end of the art hall is the den and master suite.
Looking from the dining room to the kitchen and the breakfast nook beyond, the glass display cabinet is to the right. Various ceiling coffers define each space while providing wells for indirect lighting and skylights. Local craftsman Randy Plapp built the alder cabinets.
Beyond the kitchen, the breakfast nook is in a round bay that nestles into the hillside. Views are through the forest to Coffee Pot Rock.
The master bedroom features a stone fireplace and a radiating, timber-frame roof within a completely round space. The owner requested small, historically scaled windows for most rooms. This gives the home a restful and secure feeling.
Directly outside of the dining room is the southwest facing dining porch and sunset patio. A kiva fireplace is close for a warming wood fire. The barbeque grill and a natural “spring” fountain are nestled into the hillside.
In a small building off the patio is the observatory. It is built of the same materials as the house. The copper roof of the observatory manually slides open for stargazing through the telescope.
The back of the home faces southwest. This aspect provides for warm winter afternoons enjoyed on the patio. The rich composition of exterior materials continues to all sides of the home.
The exterior of the circular breakfast nook shows the copper roof facia reflecting the glow of the red rocks. Also shown are the timber roof beams reaching for the trees and the curving Moss Rock wall veneer. The landscape walls are fitted native red rock harmonious with the sloping desert. The native vegetation was carefully preserved and is being enhanced with draught-tolerant natives and adaptive plantings. The small details demonstrate the beautiful way that the entire home is visually and physically woven into the Sedona landscape. All the forms and textures of the home appear to be crafted from the desert and forest. Because of this careful and balanced design, the home is an Arts and Crafts gem.