The list of social changes that COVID has wrought is long and dramatic: open-plan offices are officially vintage, athleisure is the new work uniform, staycations are the destination du jour…and houses around the country are being snapped up like proverbial hot cakes. The pandemic is a seller’s market which, in Scottsdale, Arizona, translates to proposed new builds—houses that haven’t yet risen from the ground—deciding to raise their listing prices by millions. Case in point: The Bacon House at Desert Mountain. In 2019, this proposed desert palace was being offered for $13 million. Fast forward a year and a half, and it is now looking for a new owner to shell out $16.5 million before the construction crews move in and begin breaking ground.
The home was designed by architect Bob Bacon, who has the local distinction of being known as the “Master of the Southwest.” Bacon’s aesthetic is all about how home design can meld with the environment in which it’s placed. Think seamless harmony with minimal disruption to nature (minus, you now, taking up 9,860 square feet of that natural space).
The landscape is beautiful, but would you really be able to handle the heat of the High Sonoran Desert, you might be thinking. Turns out, being perched 2,000 feet above the valley floor means that you get to enjoy a more luxurious climate. Temps up here are significantly cooler (by as much as 20 degrees) than those in nearby Phoenix.
Normally, we require our featured homes to have four walls and a roof (unless said home is located in an island paradise, in which case all structural rules fly right out the windows-turned-absent walls). But in this case, the location is so divine and the plans for this desert palace so sumptuous that the possibility of making this ours—ahem—yours is enough to warrant a spotlight.
Pick your extracurricular poison and this house has it. Into cigars? Enjoy your stogie on the cigar porch. Like a glass of the finest vino at the end of a long day? Store your favorite vintages in the 2,000-bottle wine room. A self-professed cinephile? Put on the popcorn and settle down in front of the outdoor screen to view the latest indie flick.
Before you walk through the art glass doors, you should know that a lot of accolades are thrown around when it comes to The Bacon House. This home is considered the “capstone” of Bacon’s career and the designs are described as “a true masterpiece of livable architectural art.” Bacon himself has called his vision for the property his “Homage to Early Modernism.” Unfortunately, none of these superlatives come with a golden man statue.
You can tell that we’re living in the Era of Climate Crisis when the agent includes the following comment in the listing: “our risk of natural disasters is extremely low.” Whether or not you’re worried about your new property’s susceptibility to the weather, it’s always a good idea to do your part to mitigate the looming disaster. Sure, you may be moving into a massive house that could house the residents of a micronation; on other hand, the home is fully solar powered, so there’s that.
This vision could be yours exactly as you see it from floor to ceiling given that there is the option to purchase it fully furnished. However, dreams cost money, and the home’s dining room tables and modern bar chairs are sold separately. You thought $16.5 million was enough to be considered all inclusive, didn’t you? Wrong!
This area is nicknamed the Saguaro Forest for its most popular resident—the giant Saguaro cacti. On this property alone there are 38 of those bad boys standing regal sentry, ready to stab any distracted intruders.
The home embraces an open-air environment, all the better to take in the gorgeous views: bright blue skies and colorful sunsets during the day, and views of the stars in the sky and in the city below at night.
But where will I sleep, you may be wondering? This massive home is, of course, suitably outfitted with five bedrooms that bring a whole new meaning to the concept of “en suite.” It’s not just private bathrooms here, each of the bedrooms also has its own washer and dryer. On the one hand, this offers the height of convenience. On the other, you will no longer have an excuse to pawn your dirty laundry off on other members of your household.
The Bacon House is not just a piece of architectural art, it was also designed to house the owners’ collection of masterpieces. There are 5,500 square feet of collector’s galleries that are climate controlled and free of all vision-obstructing columns. However, unlike the furniture, this house is strictly BYOA.
While the property is located in the luxurious community of Desert Mountain, if you want to join the private country club, it’s gonna cost you. But there are a lot of perks with gaining that most exclusive of titles: member. In addition to access to all the plurals—social clubs, golf courses, pools, and sport courts (tennis, pickleball, croquet, and bocce), the club also has 20 miles of private hike trails to walk and bike and ride your horse on. (If you can spring for both the house and the country club, we’re assuming your bank account is overflowing, so why not add a new four-legged ride to your credit card bill.)
When you’re rich enough to have a gallery filled with not only art, but also luxury cars, your dream isn’t to ride off into the sunset. The dream is to descend into your very own gallery bunker in one of the most fabulous houses in the neighborhood to soak up your most prized possessions as they sit safely on display.