Architecture on the Market: A Desert Home and Studio Pursues Lofty Heights With a Daring Cantilever

The cantilevered desert home made waves back in 2006 when it was first built by the Phoenix-based practice.

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Blank studio design + architecture’s iconic Phoenix Xeros Residence is in pursuit of new owners. The cantilevered desert home made waves back in 2006 when it was first built by the Phoenix-based practice and is now on the market.

Originally designed to house a dwelling place and design studio in one structure, blank chose to separate these programs with a dramatic formal gesture. Working with the sloping topography of the neighborhood that sits at the base of the North Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the design studio was created as a two-story volume, with the bottom floor situated at a subterranean level.

Rather than fixture the adjoining residence on the same ground plane as the studio, the home is suspended above as a rectilinear cantilever. While the two volumes remain distinctly separated in space, they are conceptually joined by the project’s materiality. Both structures are composed of a weathered black steel, while a metal mesh screen, which extends the height of the entire structure, loosely defines its boundaries. Access to the residence from the ground floor can only be done so from the external staircase, which wraps around its front.

The materiality serves not just as a visual unifier between the structures, but also responds to the particular environmental conditions of the region. “Called ‘Xeros’ (from the Greek for ‘dry’) as a reminder that all design solutions should be in a direct response to the environment in which the project exists — the building has several environmentally responsible decisions,” write the architects. The mesh screens also function to protect the façade from the harsh sunlight, while the volumetric stacking is employed to allow natural vegetation to flourish at the structure’s base.

While the name Xeros reflects a rigorous pragmatism on the part of the architects to direct this design by an environmental consciousness, its derivation from a Greek word also suggests an aspiration toward a kind of mythic quality. The cantilever, while accommodating the health of the landscape, also communicates a structural boldness, a gesture that is aware of its own precariousness. The suspension of the living space is an aspirational pursuit of an elevated living experience, one that positions its inhabitant above the earth, at the level of the mountains.

For those design enthusiasts seeking such a lofty dwelling place, the Xeros Residence can now be yours for $900,000. Visit Brick & Wonder for more information on this desert property.

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