Et Cetera

Photo: Bil Taylor

The latest property news, a new urban market, and a sneak peek at Tucson's next home tour.

Low, low prices

Investors and first-time buyers are battling over home inventory in and around Tucson, with prices still way low. Read the monthly property round-up  from Tucson real estate agent Brent VanKoevering.

Swap, sell, meet

Photo: Gillian Drummond

Check out the new Presidio Fashion Exchange every Saturday from 8am to noon at Dinnerware Artspace, 425 W. Sixth Street. This urban market is designed to celebrate the wares of local makers of handmade accessories, clothing and art. Tables, chairs and space provided free for sellers. [email protected] for details.

AIA Home Tour

AIA Southern Arizona has another juicy home tour lined up as part of next week's Architecture Week. Among them: a modern rammed earth home; a contemporary take on traditional Western materials (and the house is in the shape of a pair of cowboy boots); a dwelling made out of shipping containers; and a renovated 1927 bungalow.

Here are our own top 3 picks:

1. The Tuesday + Thursday House. This deserves a visit if only for its telling name. Architect/builder Bil Taylor was teaching at the U of A's College of Architecture when he began the project three years ago. Tuesdays and Thursdays were his days off from teaching, when he devoted time to creating this house for him and his wife.

The place is deceptive. From outside the front it resembles, in Bil's own words, a kid-like drawing, with just one door, one window and apparently one storey. Inside, a glass-railed spiral stairway, made of the same dark bamboo as the floor, drops to another level.

Photo: Bil Taylor

Also worth a peek:

* interior plantings of black bamboo;

*  a 3,000-gallon rainwater cistern and filtering system that provides all the interior water, including drinking water;

* and Bil's own favorite spot, a cantilevered patio deck that overlooks the Rillito River.


Photo: Bil Taylor






2. The Container House. You may have seen Jason Anderson's shipping container home on N. Mountain Avenue. And if you haven't, you've probably heard about the stink it's caused with some neighbors. But this is the first time you'll get to see inside.

Photo: Jason Anderson

Photo: Jason Anderson

Photo: Jason Anderson

There's bamboo flooring, laminated recycled MDF cabinets, and plans for an expanded metal skin on the outside of the unit.

Of the negative reaction from some locals he says: "I was caught off guard. I thought it was a meaningful example of infill development."

And he assures us that not only has he met all the planning and zoning regulations surrounding container housing - including sourcing the containers from a reputable supplier - but that the units have been tested for any residues, such as hazardous chemicals.

Jason plans to rent the space out. Meantime, he's also building up his restaurant experience. Jason is the architect/designer behind Union Public HouseCartel Coffee Lab, and now the owner-architect of the new Asian "food bar" Umi Star at 2502 N. Campbell.

3. Tucson Mountain Retreat Don't just visit this for the rammed earth, concrete, stone and mother-of-pearl (yes, really) on the walls. Keep an eye out for the custom steel and leather chairs from Cade Hayes of DUST, who doubles as an architect and furniture maker. Hayes and business partner Jesus Robles designed and built the house.

Also not to be missed: the rooftop living and dining area served by a dumb waiter located in the kitchen, and the extreme inside/outside vibe going on. That's thanks to commercial sliding glass doors from Fleetwood that sit on seamless tracks so you don't have to cross any threshold. "It was pushing the boundary of what this company was even willing to do, the glass is so big," says Hayes.

(And if just looking at the photo makes you fearful of desert creepy crawlies, don't be: Cade says the bug screens were removed for the pics.)

Photo: Cade Hayes

Details: Architecture Week runs September 29 - October 7  and includes a self-guided home tour, lectures, mall exhibits and design/build competitions. A portion of the $22.50 ticket price for the home tour benefits Habitat for Humanity. More info at 520 323 2191 or


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