The sublime nature of Rick Joy’s work derives from a visceral understanding of place. He shows us how efficient and environmentally sensitive architecture can emerge as a by-product from a quest for the timeless qualities that are always associated with great architecture. While the beauty of the desert is the inspiration for his work, his interest in architecture originally was sparked while living in Maine and working as a carpenter and musician. In 1990 he moved from Maine to Arizona to study architecture at the University of Arizona. After a three-year internship at William Bruder’s office, he started his own practice in Tucson, Arizona, where he specializes in residential design. In approaching a new project, the sensual experience of the specific sights, sounds, and smells of the site are primary considerations, and he prioritizes the basics of proper solar orientation and site protection. In so doing, Joy engages both the physical landscape and the sky in a poetic dialogue that is mediated by a quietly serene, deliberately simple architecture. His commitment and attention to craftsmanship heightens this sensitivity, and he often works as his own contractor. Each project is as unique and individual as the client, specific environment, and contextual history that informs it.
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