Mummy Mountain Residence / Chen + Suchart Studio LLC

© Bill Timmerman of Timmerman Photography

Architects: Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC – Szu-Ping Patricia Chen Suchart and Thamarit Suchart
Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona,
Structural Engineering: AED Structural Engineers, Inc. – Christopher J. Sosnowski, P.E.
Construction Company: Cuff Custom Homes – Hugh Cuff
Construction Area: 3,968 sf or 368.64 sqm
Graphics + Drawings: Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC
Project Year: 2004 – 2008
Photography: Bill Timmerman of Timmerman Photography

The project proposes an architecture that responds to the inherent qualities of the site, privileged views, and the larger context of the Sonoran Desert. The language of the house draws upon these inherencies and allows for a greater understanding of the project’s circumstances.

© Bill Timmerman of Timmerman Photography

A series of parallel sandblasted concrete block walls (CMU) are configured in a way that allows the landscape and the views to flow freely through the spaces. These CMU walls orient the spaces to the undisturbed views of Pinnacle Peak, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, and the Superstition Mountains, while controlled openings within the CMU walls capture characteristics of the immediate site and landscape, specific views of the mountains beyond, and the desert sky.


A metal clad roof is situated between the CMU walls and inflects to focus specific views based on program. The configuration of Cor-Ten clad metal stud walls aid in editing out the immediate manmade context of the neighboring uninspired houses and assist in focusing views on the landscape and mountains in the distance.

© Bill Timmerman of Timmerman Photography

In an effort to domesticate the otherwise “raw” spaces, the introduction of both veneered plywood and Level 5 plaster walls are articulated as veneers at specific surfaces of the exposed CMU walls at the interior spaces. The millwork is comprised of Quartersawn Maple and white stone countertops.

© Bill Timmerman of Timmerman Photography

The garages and entry court are located on the first level. The majority of the project’s program is located on the main level at one elevation due to the clients’ age. Two other bedrooms are located at different elevations, and by means of the section, allow for privacy and a more distinct focus on the specific qualities of views and the desert landscape.

Cite: "Mummy Mountain Residence / Chen + Suchart Studio LLC" 07 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I wonder why the good posts in archdaily don’t receive the deserved applauds.
    This is a real good one.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’ve seen the diagrams/concept of shear walls framing views numerous times in the past. But I do like the house. I like the project.

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    There is too much glass for a desert climate. They need to show a plan with orientation. Everybody will cook.

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    Syd88, true! The obvious response to a desert climate would be a much more introverted, monolithic envelope. The overhangs try to at least cover the largest glass sections, but I don’t think this individual solution would be very effective. What about all the radiation from the heated ground? Those people will definitely boil…….

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