The southwestern version of a gazebo, a ramada is an open, unattached porch that echoes the elements of the region's Spanish-inspired architecture. This ramada looks as though it could be a relic of Coronado's march through the Southwest, but it's really just a few years old. Designer/builder Gary Wyant created this little outdoor fantasy to satisfy his client's desire for a dramatic outdoor entertaining area.
Wyant created the illusion of a crumbling ruin with tumble-down stone walls skinned in peeling plaster that flank and protect the big stucco gas and wood fireplace. On chilly evenings, guests can sit near the fire on the big stone hearth. More rugged stone clads the columns that support vigas—big rough-sawn beams—that stretch across the corbelled ceiling that provides shade from the desert sun.
Sited next to the swimming pool, the ramada's stone foundation seems to emerge from the water. Scuppers in the rock wall carry water into the pool, relieving the desert heat with the cool sound of splashing water. The stamped and colored concrete ramada floor spills out to become the pool deck, unifying the elements of this imaginative backdrop for entertaining.