When people hear the word “ramada,” a hotel chain usually springs to mind.
But eons before Ramada Inns dotted interstates, Native Americans built shade structures with roofs but no walls. These ingenious buildings (rama means “branch” in Spanish) constructed from poles and branches were designed for maximum airflow.
Now you can own one of the most architecturally significant examples of a ramada in the entire Southwest, plus the large, luxurious home it shades. Ramada House, built by architect Judith Chaffee, in the Catalina Foothills of Tucson, AZ, is on the market for $1,995,000.
Listing agent Scott Jarson is in love with the desert design and the practical nature of the ramada.
“Nestled beneath a slat canopy of wood posts and beams, the ramada offers shelter from the sun, but keeps the views completely unobstructed,” he notes.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home was built in 1975 and designed for maximum privacy and views of its 8.75 acres.
The ramada was designed to cast intriguing shadows at different times of the day.
The home beneath the canopy appears to be made of adobe, but it’s actually built with mortar-washed slump block, which, like adobe, keeps the air inside cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Floors in the four-bedroom home are tile and concrete, and natural wood is used for accents throughout the house.
The sellers are the original homeowners, and they’ve thoughtfully updated the 3,797-square-foot home. Most spaces offer a blend of classic Southwestern features.
Unique details include a library with 10-foot-tall bookcases, an office with fireplace (there are two fireplaces total), and plenty of built-in storage throughout the home.
The modern kitchen features stainless-steel appliances, tile flooring, and pale wood cabinetry, plus easy access to the formal dining room and another dining area.
There are multiple patios, decks, and oversize windows providing lovely vistas, connecting the indoors and out. Outside, there’s a pool finished with an earth-colored plaster, the better to blend into the scenery and reflect the night sky.
All this, plus a tax break thanks to the home’s historical designation? According to the agent, it’s worth it for a buyer in search of a distinctive desert dwelling.
“For those seeking a truly remarkable home with architectural provenance and integrity, the Ramada House offers something completely unique and authentic,” says Jarson.