For its first home design in Phoenix, Charles Cunniffe Architects of Aspen, Colorado, envisioned a plan that maximized two of the desert city’s two appealing attributes: sunshine and a climate conducive to nearly eight months of indoor-outdoor living.
The result is an 8,000-square-foot contemporary home (aptly named The Phoenix) that features numerous vast expanses of glass, including large multi-slide doors that seamlessly merge the inside of the home with a large outdoor living space and a huge backyard with a pool.
Vast expanses of glass bathe the 8,000-square-foot home in natural light.
A dramatic formal entry opens to the great room, with its extra-high ceilings.
“Given the aesthetic quality the owner wanted,” he says. “Western Window Systems provided a huge advantage when you’re looking at a modern approach to the design and reductive approach to the material palette.”
The ability of Western Window Systems to create very large, floor-to-ceiling glazed units meant that Kehoe could design 12- to 13-foot openings, which in the front of the house gives the appearance of the roof hovering over the main space. From wall to wall, expansive openings bring in natural light. It’s so open, in fact, that from the front yard one can see through the main living space into the backyard.
With all the large glass in the open spaces, deep overhangs became essential to the design in order cut down the heat transfer through the glass during Phoenix’s scorching summers. And in the more everyday living spaces on the east and west wings of the home, smaller pieces of glass were used because these areas require less daylight.
The dramatic entryway and main living space take the breath away and provide a transition to outdoor living spaces and the landscape beyond.
Smaller pieces of glass were used in rooms requiring less natural light.
“The design approach was initiated based on creating a dramatic formal entry by more everyday living space.”