STRATA a desert dwelling is a monumental book celebrating the modernist design of an extraordinary family compound in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.

Like most ventures in the deserts of the American Southwest, the building of STRATA just north of Phoenix, Ariz., took perseverance and grit. For the architect, builder and interior designer, it meant drawing on the long tradition of 20th-century modernism in Arizona, whose name means “dry” (Arrida Zona) in Spanish, to bring this noteworthy home to life.

Following in the footsteps of Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra–two modern masters who sought to make the Arizona desert habitable and add to its beauty–Drewett Works, Desert Star Construction, and David Michael Miller Associates had the same objective.

STRATA is an homage to modern desert design. Deep overhanging eaves intersecting with each other at various angles recall some of Wright’s finest work. Expansive glass walls bring to mind Neutra’s style and inclination for architectural transparency while also blurring the line between indoors and out.

Its construction required extensive work on-site before the first slab was poured. Whenever possible, native stone and wood were used to give the dwelling a sense of authenticity. And its imaginative interiors denote the comfort and solace needed for days spent in the unforgiving Arizona heat.

STRATA–the home–exemplifies the power of collaboration. STRATA–the book–is about the process of its making. Architectural journalist and author James Moore McCown puts the house in historical perspective and chronicles the work of all three collaborators–because without one of them, the results would not have been possible.

For information on obtaining a copy of STRATA a desert dwelling (Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers, 2023), click here.