Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

On this week’s show, we’ve got Rick Joy. He’s the Principal of Studio Rick Joy, which is a world-renowned architecture firm operating right here out of downtown Tucson. We’re going to find out how Rick came to Tucson, why he has stayed in Tucson and how that has impacted architecture across the globe.

Today is August 29th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on DowntownRadio.org– we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app.

Reach us by email contact@lifealongthestreetcar.org — interact with us on Facebook @Life Along the Streetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from The Decemberists, “Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect”.

Transcript

Tom Heath
Good morning. It’s a beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo, and you’re listening to KTDT Tucson That you’re spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown. Tucson Community sponsored a rock and roll radio station.

Tom Heath
On this week’s show, we’ve got Rick Joy. He’s the Principal of Studio Rick Joy, which is a world-renowned architecture firm operating right here out of downtown Tucson. We’re going to find out how Rick came to Tucson, why he has stayed in Tucson and how that has impacted architecture across the globe.

Tom Heath
Well, today is August 29th My name is Tom Heath, And you are listening to Life along the streetcar each and every Sunday. Our focus is on social, cultural and economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban core. And we shed light on hidden gems. Everyone should know about form a mountain to you, Arizona and all stops in between. You get the inside track right here on 991 FM Streaming on Downtown Radio dot org, Also available on your iPhone or Android.

Tom Heath
Just head over to your app store and get the Downtown Radio Tucson app. If you want to hear our get a hold of us here on the show, It’s contact at Life along the streetcar dot-org. We’re on social media through Facebook and Instagram. Our website is Life along the streetcar dot org, and our podcast is available just about anywhere You’re going to find those. You can simply ask your smart speaker to play Life along the streetcar podcast.

Tom Heath
Well, as I mentioned, it’s August 29th which It’s our last show here in the month of August. And if I’ve done my math correctly, that means that the next show will be in the month of September And September usually brings a little cooler weather to the Old Pueblo. People start going outside again, venturing into the Great Outdoors.

Tom Heath
And if you are heading out suggestion that you check out the Presidio Museum and some of the activities that they have, we’ve had the team here on the show here a couple of times X. And one of the things that they do is The Turquoise Trail, that’s that line. You see painted on the sidewalk through downtown that takes you by significant cultural and historically important places, and talk about the importance of the time periods. It is all done through the Presidio Museum.

Tom Heath
Now this tour is absolutely free. You can pick up a brochure and take that 2 and 1/2 mile hike yourself, Or you can have it guided for a cost. If you want one of the expert guides with you, then they’ll charge you a little bit. I’m sure it supports the museum. And if you think you’re smart enough to skip that guide, maybe you want to become a guide yourself. You can also take a docent and interpreter class at the Presidio Museum. And those are designed for people that are going to ultimately volunteer. But you don’t have to. You could take the class and just learn cool things about the early history of the on Basin area, and how we have grown over time to become the city that we are.

Tom Heath
Today’s featured guest is Rick Joy. He is part Of the reason I think Tucson is probably the city that we are. He is a prolific architect. He’s got works all over the globe, residential and Commercial projects. You’ll find him featured in magazines, newspapers, again, just prolific designer, not originally from Tucson, but he did move here to go The University of Arizona. He has stayed and operates this worldwide Architecture Firm, right out of the Barrio. We had a chance to speak with him by phone just a few days ago, and wanted to get a little bit of an insight into his world.

Rick Joy
Well, you know, real briefly, It’s a coming to Tucson had to do with going to the University of Arizona architecture program. I was a drummer, musician, The highest level of England, Boston, New York and places. And I just I didn’t see myself aging very well. So I decided on architecture, which was on my mind all through my youth. And I just said, I got to go as far away from New England as possible if I want to do this, right. And if you available so good, I chose it.

Rick Joy
You know, back then it was catalogs if you get in the mail, not internet, and obviously and then. And didn’t tell anybody I could play drums like I could and just fell in love with architecture and decided to stay. And then, of course, the richest architecture and historical cultural building work is in this Barrio vehicle and rented from bone rolling for a few years and little space That was like pushing three. And then I got a client to do the content Studio.

Rick Joy
And there you can see them. If you walk down content on the east side of the street, There’s what appears to be windows. But when you get closer, there’s some cars and open courtyard behind, and it’s been rendered buildings throughout, and I just didn’t feel comfortable Intuitively, didn’t want to disturb, or even touch the precious historic stuff with anything new. And they came for, You know, falsifying history, think against my grain General. And so we made a clear distinction and between the old and new and built that project, and it’s globally, It went pretty magazines. Books and lectures are all the world and organizations like project are and invited me to come along. And I’m just like it. It took off. Yeah, I’m so since then we’ve done a number of them around Tucson. But then, you know, because so many people around the world know about us now, Now that we don’t have any work, and as much as I would love to, and I see all these new buildings going up constantly around downtown, I want to work. I live with my ex and market, and it just be see all these new buildings and I didn’t get a single call. It’s like, okay, Well, you know.

Rick Joy
I think, You know, having a home base like I have here and seeing what’s really happening with this streetcar ignited in terms of development, and and all downtown is just so thrilled Thrilled to see there’s so many people on the streets walking and taking a sweetheart now, compared to say, 10 years ago. And I moved here in 85 compared to that, It’s like night and day.

Tom Heath
Yeah, It’s been quite a difference that I mean, I think that’s the success Of the University always looks for, is to attract Talent from other parts of the country, lure him here for an education, and then trap them and keep them here for whatever reason might be important to them. And I think the reason why you might not be getting calls as you know, it’s it might be intimidating If someone goes to your to your website and looks at your your portfolio. And then you see, you know, the, the media with, you know, New York Times Vanity, Fair International magazines. I mean, everyone is just in love with the work that you’re doing.

Rick Joy
Well, we have fun and attract Architects, young coach and around the world. And currently we have 15 people. And these seven of us were me about the country We’ve had over a hundred people over the last 30 years come from other countries. So this year, and and some of the state here from Portugal, and you think, well, it’s easy. So I go back of korcula trying to do that. Or do I stay here? I see all this opportunity. And so it’s kind of a fun cultural bridge that I’ve been able to afford

Tom Heath
That’s flown there for the last 30 years. When projects come up, I would imagine that their you get requests all the time. How do you mean? What? What draws you to a specific project? How do you accept something Cuz you make sure you can’t do everything that comes your way?

Rick Joy
You know, if there’s a spirit, and but when somebody calls like, you know, the President of Princeton and says, we want put you on our short list, I listen. And we’ve had some amazing client in Tucson with years. In fact, just this week I’ve been back in touch with two of my oldest faience, the houses back and the Catalina house and nineties, and just getting together again and reminiscing about what it took 20 years ago, two years ago to build their houses.

Rick Joy
But you know, this spirit is what I look for, you know, in energy and wanting to do something really, really special and meaningful.

Tom Heath
I would imagine every project then has that satisfaction. But is there anything, you know, looking at the body of work on your website? Again? It’s just amazing. Is there anything that stands out as being one or two projects that we’re sort of like? They turned out different than you expected, or they just really exceeded your expectations?

Rick Joy
Well, a lot of them exceed my expectations and my clients expectations, because, you know, usually I think it’s going to do a resort hotel, and you try to find an architect has been a bunch of real or hope. We keep trying for septic fire stations in Tucson. If they were okay, you never done a fire. But we did that hotel in Utah. I’m on Geary Conde, Nast number one in different categories for eight years in a row only. And so we’ve never done a hotel before. And the same thing with the transvaal. And we did five buildings at their entrance gate Waits at Princeton, and its people get married in our train station fun.

Rick Joy
So that’s exceeded my expectations and then just done so many, and only to sold to other people and the new client coming in there. I just got this super great longevity with my clients. Do all out? Is he?

Tom Heath
You’re saying that the house is that you design Like in the 90s. Those are the your reminiscing with them. They’re still they still own and live in those homes. Yeah, Yeah, that’s fantastic In this day and age people don’t. They don’t stay in homes that that long. So there’s there’s something that spirit is capturing them for sure.

Rick Joy
Well, I mean, Mr. Palmer and lived in 510 tons of reimbursed and evaporatively cooled. And, you know, I’ve been there for a long time, and and, you know, go to Colorado and August like the right now, and it’s too humid for evaporative cooling That’s 25 bucks.

Rick Joy
Has he’s approaching 20 years of living 100% off the grid, including water? Wow, the roof there is shaped that way to harvest water, and then we run it through the UV and different kinds of filters engineering for him to sit in there and maybe myself.

Tom Heath
Development services gets the money, even if they don’t need to send out those Services, huh?

Rick Joy
Yeah.

Tom Heath
So a couple questions. And then that comes into, you know, we just article in the paper you know, about see AP water and challenges with, you know, Arizona having to potentially take less of that Is that, is that a big feature of your designs as how to incorporate this Totally friendly and sustainable practices into each and every project?

Rick Joy
Well, yeah, every project we try to do as much as intended. We have a project in Sedona, which is going to be a lot of solar, and a lot of water harvesting. And then another one in rear. We’re weird. I just sent the meeting now with my team, Just trying to ensure that we take very seriously in the possibility of wildfires, and we’re going to do water overseeing and tanks. And who might even do the Japanese special be Bond formed with the current gets, tired very easily sliding. And, you know, we we, we generally pay attention to that kind of stuff. Anyway,

Speaker 2
You see on our website called the Nasau Treehouses. And they had a wildfire come for five years ago to within 500 yards of. And I called my engineer Mike Harris here in Tucson and said, men, It’s coming closer to the house. What do we do with a pair of concrete? But the truth is combustible. If it can, we put water on a roof you want. So I called back. And put water on a roof up to,

Speaker 2
And they did it, and he’s expected back in the numbers. Floating. Let it all out. Fortunately, Nothing leaked.

Rick Joy
That I can see a fire very easily, kind of getting up into that area.

Speaker 2
Yeah. And you know, that one’s a hundred percent off the grid as well. There’s a little spring that goes by the house, a little water pipe from the spring for the vineyard down below, and we just kept into that food water. And it’s fully so little tractor and everything. And it’s been there for what 15 years, just not using the energy.

Tom Heath
Hey, we’ll be back to this interview with Rick joy in just a moment. But first, I Remind you that you are listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 991 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio, dot-org.

Tom Heath
Let’s get back to Rick Joy. He’s the principal of Studio, Rick joy. And he is a Tucson treasure operating right out of the Barrio down here. And as we talked about the beginning, you’ll see his Works featured in magazines and newspapers across the globe, And how to really good chance to get some insight into his business and how he is impacting that architecture scene.

Tom Heath
Technique, say, I don’t know much about architectures and building. So bear with me, or if I’m a little bit naive. But I know when I first got to Tucson in the 90s, there was a lot of talk about what you said earlier, which was rammed Earth. But I’m not hearing much about that anymore. Is that it? Was that a style that is fading out? Or is it just so Incorporated that we don’t even Think of it as… somewhat

Rick Joy
It’s not so much a style, its just that the building industry just isn’t, you know, keeping up with it and able to just do it, have some philosophies about it, And the fact that our world has become so litigious that smallest little crack becomes a problem for the new generation and concrete. It’s monolithic. As for your second to do that. And I try to tell my clients, and we did them for that. You know, you’re going to get hurt, and so we’re all going out together. Yeah, I guess.

Rick Joy
And you can still get that It’s a little farther away. Some of the businesses have gone out of business. You know, it’s still doable. It’s just that the people too nervous about anything that cracks, weathers and ages.

Tom Heath
It sounds very good with an eye gets over time. If you’re not ready for some it you, everyone’s Perfection. If you’re not ready for a little imperfection, then you get dismayed when you see it That way. I think that’s the same thing that, yeah.

Rick Joy
If you look at our first book, does it works. Victoria doesn’t. First, You’ll see on the cover, and a perfect, Exactly Because I, when I studied Luke on, and and all the perfect Building architecture doing everything just incredible Precision. But when I was doing that Wallace on the cover, you can see that the called Katarina house and it’s very moody, Very dark image with the Skylight, like grazing wall. And I just said, no, this is Tucson. Well Kyle was out here. We don’t need to get off Perfect on this. Let it happen. It should. And it’s just people go crazy over. I think rightfully, It’s just beautiful, beautifully imperfect.

Tom Heath
And you said, it’s in your in your book. You’ve got is a books about your architecture that you’ve got published.

Rick Joy
Oh yeah, we’ve had a kind of watch. Oh, wow. Okay, To monographs. But you know the challenge of writing I have to do. They don’t teach a writing,

Rick Joy
Just find it. So we’re doing that. It all happened. I mean, I know we’re kind of on the borderline of the demographic and that for the streetcar, but we forget hold off That was visible from the, you know, for two years now It’s glorious, Super modern.

Tom Heath
And it is certainly changed since Tina 2010 After. That Great Recession things have really sort of shifted here in downtown and a lot happening. And you don’t want to get too much on this, because we are running on time, but you mentioned it. And I’ve heard this from others that there is concern that our development isn’t staying true to our heritage that we do seem to be developing, like other places have developed a style stylistically. It is there a fix for that? Is it just getting local firms involved? Or is it is it causing…

Rick Joy
I think educating clients, People Wanted that kind of development and mean generally, I personally was going to build a ten-story housing project in downtown Tucson. I start thinking about Tucson first, you know, just the development world is just so short-sighted in most places, and it’s just how much you’re going to make in the first five years. And that’s it for, as you know, when they both built a Pioneer Hotel at that baby still sitting there. So it’s great. Wells. Fargo Chase Bank. Those things are Heritage. Building cycle Go to no problem, Going to get some tacos over here at the hotel.

Tom Heath
I’ve been very impressed with that restaurant, very impressed with the quality of food They put out there and then is just just around around where you are. It’s amazing to see all this happening out of the Barrio I Right people to check out your website, and I’ll look for your books. But just your the Project’s page on your website is, in and of itself is too easily a days to sort of journey through different styles across the country. And you can see, you know, Tucson influences. And in others, I think it’s just fantastic.

Rick Joy
Yeah, you’re in business development and all that. From Rubio Ali. And then we bought another house across pushing out a truck content. You’ll see that white on white with sandblasted translation, glass windows. That’s what we do. All the lighting designer Interiors. We do a lot. We just did a One and Only Resort in Mexico.

Rick Joy
Oh, my goodness gracious. Someone who moved from the Midwest and the 90s I’m I’m very fortunate and grateful that the University of Arizona Had a nice catalog for you to explore and get you out from New England out to Tucson, because he’s doing amazing things At one of the best programs in the country by far. And one of the big tools is that my cousin’s the only person in my family Other than that, went to college is a 10 Professor over there, starting August. Wow out, starting next week in architecture, Leading design build program UNLV 15 years. And I was here, and he might have anything to be teaching my son who’s in fourth year architecture.

Rick Joy
We are a business architecture plans, And we do 401k to four months paid maternity leave, insurances, and generally more.

Tom Heath
Looking for the right people to come in and be a great place to really get a good grasp of bringing in that spirit, that feeling of architecture Beyond just the bricks and mortar, but the actual Spirit of what you’re creating. We really enjoyed ourselves, Rick Joy, the principle of the studio, Rick Joy, very prolific prolific amount of work. And I appreciate you, I know you, I can only imagine how busy you are. So I really appreciate you taking the time. Good. I thought. Thank you, sir, Enjoy the rest of your day, and I can appreciate your time.

Tom Heath
Hey, I’ve got a tip for you, Start a podcast on a radio show, and you get to meet really cool people And talk about amazing projects. I just I’m fascinated that Rick Joy operating out of here, Tucson impacting the globe, and I took some time to chat with us. Well, my name is Tom Heath, and you’re listening to lifelong the streetcar in downtown radio 981 FM and available for streaming at Downtown Radio Dot org Got merch. Show your love for downtown

Tom Heath
Well, that’s gonna do it for our episode today number 166. Next week, We got another great show, Check out all of our past ones there on Life along the streetcar dot-org, and don’t hesitate to hit that contact button and share a story or two of your own that you’d like us to look at. Well, let’s leave a little music today from The Decemberists from our 2002 album called Castaway and Cutouts You listening to “Here I Dreamnt I was an Architect.”

This page provided by The Heath Team at Nova Home Loans®

Tom Heath - Senior Loan Officer with Nova Home Loans
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