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This part of Arizona, Desert Mountain, enjoys cooler temperatures, which equals much more time spent outside in all three seasons than in other parts of the state. The landscape contains a sequence of several outdoor rooms, designed for lounging, eating, swimming and enjoying a fire on chilly nights.
The spaces relate to the house via physical and visual connections and materials. On this outdoor patio, a steel staircase, exposed concrete and flagstones relate back to the house via texture and color.
Logs for the fire pit are cleverly stored beneath a sidewalk. To the right, there's a grill and another patio with a dining area.
The architects oriented the windows so that the owners could take in the desert and the mountains, while editing neighboring homes from view.
The home consists of four buildings: the main house, the garage, the guest suite and the office. Large windows maximize natural light inside, while large overhangs protect the interior from the desert sun. The overhangs and the pathways create connections between the separate buildings, making them all part of a whole.
Lofty ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass allow soaring views of the landscape from almost everywhere inside the home. All the furniture and even the walls point your eye to the view; this shot looks almost like a one-point perspective drawing with a distant cactus as the center point.
As for the logistics of constructing such a home, hiring experienced local builders to execute a design is usually a good plan; they know the local craftspeople, resources and climate issues. "We used hot-rolled steel all around the project; in our dry climate, we don't need to use weathering Cor-Ten steel," says Byrnes.
The rusted steel around the pool helps it blend into its desert surroundings and connects it to the architecture; look at the way it relates to the overhang in this photo.
If you look closely at the pool, you can see a separate hot tub area on the right side, which is hidden beneath 1/2 inch or so of water. This way the plunge pool and the spa appear as one simple rectangular element, which is in keeping with the home's minimalist aesthetic.
All of the furnishings are in harmony with the house. While you may see an icon here and there, most of the pieces have lines and colors that blend in and enhance, rather than compete with, the spectacular views.
"Much of the furniture inside was custom designed by Lake Flato and built by Construction Zone, such as this nightstand/headboard/platform bed," says Byrnes. "While a large part of our business is building our own designs, working in the role as contractor with amazing architects like these was a great experience."
Houzz Tour: Open Living in the Arizona Desert