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Client: Westberg Residence

Location: Sedona, AZ

Date: completion 2007

At the base of Cathedral Rock, the Westberg Residence is a modern composition of strong, sheltering and organically derived forms and spaces that are tailored to the owner’s ideas and goals. The home is set away from the road, bordering the National Forest. Wrapping a welcoming motor courtyard, the home consists of the main house aligned with towering Cathedral Rock to the north and a one-bedroom studio to the south.  On the east side, a three-car garage connects the two wings and is topped by an astronomy roof deck. The stepped, rounded massing of the home reflects the surrounding red rock landforms and integrates the home into the landscape

Organic Design permeates the home. The driveway follows the curving forms of a dry wash. The motor court is crafted in the abstract image of a box canyon, similar to the curving intricacies within Cathedral Rock. The articulations of the home’s west end echo the buttresses of the Cathedral. At the far left of the picture, a multi-featured negative-edge pool is positioned to capture the warm west sun and to enjoy views of Oak Creek Valley. The negative-edge also provides a beautiful waterfall and a reflecting pool viewed when approaching the entry. The Master Suite overlooks the pool and spa.

A dry wash created in the various paving materials runs through the midst of the motor courtyard. The wash is functional as the drainage swale for driveway runoff and also becomes a recirculating water feature as shown in the photo. The main house’s south-facing porches are in alcoves that collect the winter sun. The primary entry is in the central alcove. The tall saguaro cactus is a painted steel sculpture that is internally lit.

The curves of the home balance the ruggedness of the stonework. Planter features at the entry also provide art display space and a bench. In general, all homes are designed by Eric Brandt to blend the structure with the surroundings, and to integrate the spaces with their inhabitants.

Arizona Moss Rock anchors the home to the site. The stone arch at the entrance frames the view of distant hot-air balloons from the breakfast nook at sunrise. The barbeque is nestled and hidden into a niche dividing the main entry porch from an intimate dining area.

From the entry porch, looking past the entry planter to the garage portal. The studio is to the far right of the picture. Cactus grow from many pots on the roof.

The main entry door is fitted into one of the grotto-like alcoves of the south face of the main house. The monumental sconce is by Sedona artists, Larry and Gayle Taylor. The extravagant 11 x 9 foot cast-glass entry door is an original work by artist BJ Katz of Meltdown Glass of Chandler Arizona. It is illuminated by interior and exterior skylights directly above the door.


Passing thru the entry door into the entry hall, the subtleness of the entry progression changes dramatically. Here, the absolute full height and power of Cathedral Rock is captured in an 8 x 17 foot single-glazed opening at the far end of the entry hall. The technology to create this massive window evolved during construction to allow for this undivided aperture. In the photo, the built-in solar shades are drawn down across all these northeast-facing windows. A baby grand piano nestles into the bay at the end of the hall. Beyond, at the north patio, is a waterfall aligned with the skewed east entry wall. The cascade flows into a raised koi pond. The slightly skewed wall focuses the view and
diffuses Cathedral Rock’s powerful energy. All the varying planes that frame and create the view connect the inhabitants to the landscape.

The dynamic enclosure of the home and the energy of Cathedral Rock are carefully subdued to obtain the elegant calm of the home. The spaces are crafted to provide a restful tranquility. The fireplace is a focal, sculptural form that directs the energy of the home down into the heart and hearth.

All fireplaces are fitted with gas flames through crushed glass. The sculptural art glass prisms above the great room fireplace are by artist Deanne Sabeck of Sedona’s Kuivato Gallery.

From the living room, the media room is entered through double Meltdown cast glass doors that recess into the walls when open. All interior finishes have been intuitively selected by the owner. The color palate is in cool contrast to the red desert.

The kitchen has views to both Cathedral Rock and to the Verde Valley School spires. The home’s monumental scale continues here. Fifteen-foot ceilings allow Cathedral Rock views deep into the home, but careful architectural detailing still provides the comfortable, human scale.

The north patio is nestled into the forested hillside and features stone benches that step in height and a raised dining area overlooking the Koi pond. The screened porch opens west to the pool and north to Cathedral Rock. The automatic solar shades are utilized here to provide the retractable screens.

The stone-rimmed spa pours into the organically designed swimming pool. The owner chose the turquoise pool color to recall the travertine pools of Havasu in the Grand Canyon.  Within a frameless-corner bay window, the master bathtub looks directly over the pool to Thunder Mountain in the distance.The strong natural forms inspire the Eric Brandt-designed pool and landscaping.