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On the Edge
By Riki Altman-Yee | Photo: by Pietro Pisoni | April 12, 2017
Designed throughout by Italian architect Matteo Caimi, this Clearwater Hills home defines contemporary living.
Like many American dreams, the story behind this stunning 10,000-square-foot home nestled to the southeast of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve has roots overseas. It started when a local developer visited a New York furniture showroom and met with C&A+partners, a trio of Italian architects, comprising father-son team Dario and Matteo Caimi and their longtime friend Franco Asnaghi. The shopping experience might have started with a hunt for European finishes and furnishings, but it ended with a major Paradise Valley project. “I showed [the developer] residential projects we designed, and after the visit, he hired us for the whole [Clearwater Hills] house: architecture, interiors and landscape,” Matteo Caimi explains. “He understood our philosophy is based on a combination of various subjects: functionality, great impact and pure shapes enhanced by the very best materials currently available.” The team was also given one specific directive: nearly every component had to come from Italy, down to the textiles and kitchen utensils.
As the home was created on spec, it also had to entice a range of potential buyers while challenging preconceived notions. “The whole project was elaborate so it could provide a unique experience, completely different from what a typical American home would offer: space organization and sophisticated finishes combined with tasteful, fully European design,” Caimi recalls.
A close study reveals just how much indoor-outdoor living space the men were able to create within the jagged landscape. At first glance, its exterior seems largely irregular, featuring two separate but linked buildings with a common patio space between them, but Caimi says it was the best solution to ensure the home not only incorporated the surrounding rocks and varying elevations, but also provided spectacular views for both its future homeowners and their guests. Another starkly unusual feature is the long, thin pool trimmed in mosaic and featuring a cantilevered mini-hydromassage tub on one end. Partially covered by a walkway, the other side of the pool ends under an entertainment loft inside the home’s grand multilevel entrance, uniting the indoors and outdoors.
Bathed in sunlight during the day, the breathtaking space features large-scale Piasentina stone floors, simple white walls and a welcoming reception area outfitted with a Kasthall rug and Knoll coffee tables. Spacious lounging areas with white sofas from B&B Italia invite guests to socialize and admire unobstructed views of Camelback Mountain. Three generous seating areas are also provided outdoors, furnished with custom pieces and accessorized with teak benches and a custom barbecue island.
Back inside are a formal dining room and bar anchored by a custom-designed table made of rosewood with Plasentia stone legs and insets. Three giant Fil de Fer pendants from Catellani & Smith provide diffused light from above. Behind the scenes hides a media room with a bar and maid’s quarters.
Upstairs, connected by hallways enclosed with glass on both sides, are an entertainment room, a kitchenette and powder room, three bedrooms, and five bathrooms. The master offers an outdoor terrace facing south and directly connects to a large seating area shared with both of the other bedrooms. The other side of the second floor houses the guest suite, which includes a glass-covered terrace tucked within a rocky cranny, simultaneously providing protection and seclusion. Additional guests are invited to stay in the separate 1,240-square-foot casita, featuring a kitchen with Alea by Varenna cabinets from Poliform, Carrara marble countertops and a steam shower. The guesthouse even boasts its own mahogany bar with an adjoining deck and a wine cellar tucked into a natural space below the structure.
Caimi and his partners designed countless custom pieces for the home, including the rosewood bar and the entertainment units throughout, which were built by Italian artisans at Marelli International. While it’s true Asian teak, African bubinga, Portuguese stone, Greek marble, and even some Belgian furnishings and Danish accessories found their way into the finished setting, the ultimate goal of having an Italian masterpiece in the Arizona mountains was ideally realized.
ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN AND LANDSCAPE DESIGN
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