Ghost Wash House

Architect: Architecture-Infrastructure-Research

Owner: Eric & Lauri Termansen

Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona

Category: One- and Two-family Custom Residences (category one)      

Along the hillside of Camelback Mountain, Ghost Wash House protects, connects and facilitates the indoor and outdoor life of a residence to be a "house of the desert".

The Ghost Wash House, located along the hillside of the north side of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona, is flanked by two washes that move storm water down the mountain. Two tumbled brick bars run parallel to the east and west washes framing a third topographic condition, or “Ghost Wash,” running down the center of the site. The east bar contains the 'support' programs of the house: garages, kitchen, family dining room, etc. The west bar shields the occupants from the intense setting sun. The primary organizing device for the house, the central amenity infrastructure takes cues from the Sonoran Desert. In the same way that desert washes provide a habitat and ecosystem to facilitate desert life and connectivity, the Ghost Wash protects, connects, and facilitates the indoor and outdoor life of the residence. The Ghost Wash House is not a house in the desert, but a house of the desert.

"The response to the natural site context is excellent and the successful rendition of the clients' different tastes is masterfully achieved in the architecture and the interior selections, furniture and art." ~ Jury comment

Additional information

Interior designer: Darren Petrucci, AIA

Engineer - mechanical: Kunka Engineering

Engineer - structural: JT Engineering

Engineer - electrical: Woodward Engineering

Engineer - civil: Fleet Fisher Civil Engineering

Construction manager: Mark Allen

General contractor: Buildinc.

Landscape architect: Colwell/Shelor Landscape Architects

Lighting designer: Walter Spitz – Creative Designs in Lighting


Victor A. Mirontschuk, FAIA (Chair), EDI International, PC, New York City

Katie Gerfen, ARCHITECT, Washington, DC

Luis Jauregui, FAIA, Jauregui Architecture Interiors Construction, Austin, Texas

Adrianne Steichen, AIA, Pyatok Architects, Oakland, California

John Thatch, AIA, Dahlin Group Architecture Planning,

Image credits


Bill Timmerman


Bill Timmerman


Bill Timmerman


Bill Timmerman


Bill Timmerman


Bill Timmerman


Bill Timmerman