Manta ray-shaped house set
to straddle an Arizona mountain


News: Arizona architect Nick Tsontakis has unveiled plans for a house that will straddle a mountain and be shaped like a manta ray (+ slideshow).

House in Paradise Valley by Nick Tsontakis

The $30-million two-storey building is designed by Nick Tsontakis to sit on top of Mummy Mountain in Arizona.

"The overall form of the home is reminiscent of a manta ray - even though this was not intentional - and from the air the structure looks like it’s swimming on top of the mountain," Tsontakis told Dezeen. "I wanted to make the house design memorable and simple. It is organic, soft and liveable."

House in Paradise Valley by Nick Tsontakis

Tsontakis told Dezeen that he came up with the concept to capture views of both the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale to the north and of Camelback Mountain and the city lights in Downtown Phoenix to the south. "It meant that I would somehow have to infuse the house into the mountain," he explained.

A number of local guidelines restricted the scale of the design, said the designer. "We were not to exceed the height of the top of the mountain in the centre of the home and we had to draw a 20 degree line from the [mountain's] pinnacle in all directions, which the house could not penetrate," he explained.

House in Paradise Valley by Nick Tsontakis

Once completed, the property will contain six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, and will boast views across Paradise Valley from a series of viewing decks.

A ten-car garage located on the upper level will be accessed via a sloping road. On the same level there will be an entry hall and a pair of two-bedroom guest wings.

House in Paradise Valley by Nick Tsontakis

Stairs and elevators will descend to the main ground level, which will accommodate a master wing on the north side and a large living area to the south.

"The two wings will be connected with a tunnel bored through the mountain from north to south, and on the east a 2000 square-foot entertainment hall would be carved out of the mountain," added Tsontakis.

House in Paradise Valley by Nick Tsontakis

The property is currently listed by Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty and is due for completion in 2015. Tsontakis told Dezeen that "the project is not under construction yet", but that he is in conversations with "several interested parties."

House in Paradise Valley by Nick Tsontakis

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House in Paradise Valley by Nick Tsontakis

Renderings by Nick Tsontakis AIA Architecture and Interiors.

  • Luke

    The ugly road to allow sports cars access ruins any poetic potential this scheme could have.

  • Paul Allen


  • J3an

    Sad renderings and even sadder design.

  • Alex Sumanariu

    Tony Stark-ish.

    • Gaz

      Tony Shark-ish

      • eidamm

        Shony Tark-ish

  • generalpopulation

    Just add a few sims and it’ll be complete.

  • Yaniv Peer

    Nice idea for a building that hugs the landscape but delivered terribly. Shame!

  • Paopao

    Is this article a joke or what?

  • Kanye mountaintop

    Wait a sec, did Kanye design this?

  • oh wewl

    I don’t think there is a client…
    which is worse

  • oh wewl

    Black metal roof in Arizona? Awesome idea!

  • eidamm


  • ar

    Since that territory is FULL of scorpions, he should have made it look like one instead.