Casa Petra Vera






Casa Petra Vera is on six and a quarter acres of temperate high desert grassland-chaparral, punctuated by juniper and agave, 4700 feet up the eastern flanks of Portal Peak in the Chiricahua Mountains. It is bounded by state-to-federal lands on one side, and the ancient small oaks of Portal Peak Wash on another. The humbling view east sweeps the compass along San Simon Valley and the Peloncillo range. It is 3 miles from the mouth of Cave Creek Canyon, 8 miles from the American Museum of Natural History’s Southwestern Research Station, and 27 miles from thousands of acres of rhyolite hoodoos within the Chiricahua National Monument.

Development will feature creative workspaces, our personal residence, and guest accomodations. Our built environment is being designed to efficiently provide comfortable amenities in spaces which take cues from surrounding nature, and create conditions for meaningful interaction with the natural world - an architectural intent sometimes described as biophilic.

Construction for the project will be focused on locally appropriate technology and sustainable building techniques. We identify with the integrity and vision of the Fogo Island Art Studios, yet feel kindred to the community-driven frugality and simplicity of efforts such as the Rural Studio 20K Initiative. We particularly admire the Tucson works of architect Judith Chafee and architectural sculptor Charles Clement.

Having experienced the pace and hurdles of working within nonprofit status, we are founding Casa Petra Vera as a simple co-proprietorship with transparent integrity.




You can support development of Casa Petra Vera through our Print Subscription (available online soon), through custom print/design orders or purchase of printed items available at Spina/Novoa Studio, or by helping to connect us with resources outlined below. If you would like to make a specific recommendation or contribution, please get in touch. We appreciate input and enjoy productive partnerships. Contact melinda@matsonspina.com

In Search Of:

-    Professional architectural design consultation or partnerships, with expertise in affordably sustainable design

-    Tradespersons’ and artisans’ community-partnerships, with experience or interest in natural building techniques

-    Reduced cost or contributions of sustainable building materials such as - Hempcrete IFC-type block, PaveDrain P-ACB/M, solar power equiptment, pumice/clay, reclaimed lumber beams/slabs, etc

-    Reduced cost or contributions of seeds, propagations, and nursery stock. We are interested in most species suitable for the Chiricahua Mountains indexed by Spadefoot  or Desert Survivors

Mark