Listed for $ 425,000, this oleander-shrouded home could pass for a work of art in the up-and-coming Canal North neighborhood of Phoenix. It seems fitting that the owner and seller is the outgoing director of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Rather than mimic the Southwest adobe–inspired architecture so common in Arizona, the Meadowbrook House uses humble materials in elegant ways, notes listing agent Greg Kilroy. His Velocity Group agency specializes in architectural properties in the desert.
The house was built in 2008 by two architects with their own design firm, Atherton|Keener. Jay Atherton is now a lecturer on the subject of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.
“Our interest was in using standard things on a relatively unremarkable site and creating something that was more than the sum of its parts,” Cy Keener told Dwell magazine in 2010.
With that inspiration, the simple wall of oleander with a doorframe in the middle separates the home from the street, providing privacy and tranquility on the property. A screening fabric is used on the three sides of the house that feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The material reduces heat from direct sunlight but allows light to shine through to the home’s interior. In the evenings, the screens filter the home’s interior lighting to create a lovely light-filled effect.
“It’s just this beautiful jewel box,” Kilroy says of the home’s evening appearance.
Trees that don’t need direct sunlight are planted in an interior garden behind the shading, providing a view of greenery inside, Kilroy says.
Concrete blocks were used to construct the west wall, which gets the harshest desert sunlight. Rooms on that wall include two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a laundry room.
Ceilings are painted with a special gray paint that emits a gradation effect when hit by the light, Kilroy notes. Concrete floors were sanded to reveal flecks of sand for visual appeal.
Cabinets are made of humble plywood but painted black for a touch of elegance. Bathrooms feature wood finished with marine-grade varnishes. The kitchen includes Gaggenau, Viking, and Bosch appliances.
The home has two bedrooms, which were originally built as master bedrooms. Kilroy explains that the owner is using one of those bedrooms as a dining room, but it can easily be converted into a bedroom again.
Outside, a terrazzo table with bench are situated in a shady corner for outdoor dining. If enjoying alfresco dessert in the desert night sounds appealing, this ultramodern and moderately priced jewel box is worth a look.