Living spaces extend into the desert at Arizona home by The Construction Zone

Phoenix architecture firm The Construction Zone has completed a house in Arizona‘s Sonoran desert, taking full advantage of the arid climate with living spaces both inside and out.

The Alber Residence measures 3,500 square feet (325 square metres), laid out on a single level, and includes four bedrooms.

Sited on a roughly triangular lot, the building’s main axis runs from east to west, thereby maximising exposure on the northern and southern exposures.

The entrance is from the west, where the architects positioned a double garage and two exterior parking spaces. Here, a metallic trellis protects the doorway from the harsh desert sun.

The centre of the plan is occupied by the open kitchen, living and dining area, as well as an office that is delineated by a patterned metal wall. From this area, residents can enjoy views of the surrounding desert through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls.

These open onto a reflective lap pool to the north and an outdoor dining space to the south, where the home’s metallic roof projects outwards to shade the glazed expanse.

Three bedrooms occupy the eastern extremity of the residence, while a fourth is off in the northwest corner of the plan, affording slightly more privacy.

“A private guest room located across the home steps down from the main level by utilising a gentle slope in the site,” the architects said.

Outside, the house is rendered in crisp white. “The exterior walls are a smooth white stucco to reflect the sun and create a backdrop for stark shadows of the desert,” said The Construction Zone.

In the bedrooms, many of the windows are clerestories. This creates a sense of intimacy compared to the the main living space, and also prevents the interiors from overheating.

Interior finishes are mostly rendered in white. The home’s slightly pitched roofs can be read from inside, creating different ceiling heights in various rooms.

“Careful use of ornate patterned concrete tiles designed and fabricated for the home tempers the light and generates soft shadows,” said the architects. Similar patterns can be found in the kitchen, bathrooms and office space.

The Construction Zone recently converted a former horse barn into a residence, using concrete walls that divided stalls to create rooms. Other Arizona residences that take advantage of their desert conditions include a home by A-I-R Architects that was built around an oasis and a property by The Ranch Mine that reinterprets mission-style architecture, an aesthetic that was popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Project credits:

Lead architects: Michael Groves, principal; Drew Bausom, senior associate
Client: Kimberly Alber
General contractor: The Construction Zone, Andy Byrnes, principal; Jonathon Spinner, superintendent
Structural engineer: Bakkum Noelke
Landscape: Flo Patio, Stephen Bardorf, principal
Cabinets: AK Studio, Robert Rubin, principal
Steel Windows and Decorative Metals: The Construction Zone

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