This Tucson home was built with generous outdoor living spaces between it and the neighboring residence - a “canyon” of second floor decks with a courtyard patio at street level. These spaces, however, proved inhospitable in Tucson’s summer heat. The architect invited G.H. Bruce to create a Tensile Sculpture that would enhance the architecture, preserve the views, facilitate airflow, and dramatically extend the usability of the outdoor space throughout the year.
The GHB team saw a unique opportunity to play with dynamic forms in counterpoint to the rectangles and planes of the architecture. Their solution took the form of three canopies that stretch between the walls of the “canyon.” Two interlock above thoroughly shading the larger upper deck. The third canopy dives dramatically from the parapet, over the stairway, and turns to alight in the deep space of the courtyard patio. An oculus pierces this canopy, playfully interrupting its surface and animating the patio with a spot of light that traces the sun’s path on the floor and walls. This opening is affectionately known as the “door” for the hummingbirds that navigate the Tensile Sculpture as they sip from the feeder in the courtyard.