Case Study: Levine Residence

Words: Creating contemporary homes with a classic design in mind is a current trend for masonry. In Scottsdale, Arizona a family was inspired by classic Pueblo architecture and Drewett+Brenden Architecture worked with the couple to design the house of their dreams. Located near Pinnacle Peak in the desert, and surrounded by stacked formations of boulders, the site had a proximity issue. In addition to the home being built on a slight incline, there needed to be a secure foundation to ensure the house stayed in place. Manship Builders and Sutter Masonry combated these issues head on by importing materials that ensured the stability of the retaining wall. It was made of well casing rods that preserve the desert view and secure the home in place, according Mark Laidlaw of Manship Builders. Another big constraint for this project was maximizing the views while trying to maintain Southwest fenestration protection. However, the views are taken full advantage of with intertwined overhang. They ripple with materials that alternate in a stacking formation to match the scenery. The surrounding area filled with stacked rock formations inspires the design of this home. This project is clad with masonry from the foundation to the parapet walls. A quarter of the home’s exterior is clad in sequenced vein-cut travertine, according to Aimee Sutter of Sutter Masonry. Natural quartzite ledgestone veneer was used for the foundation of this home, expressing an organic feeling from top to bottom. Even the driveway is paved with a ground face hardscape that compliments the overall feel of the home. This residence was built to be energy efficient, from the LED lighting fixtures to the direction the windows are facing, green elements were worked in at every phase, according to Laidlaw. With expansive windows, natural light shines through the house, ensuring maximum use of natural light. Lively plants were strategically installed to give the home’s surrounding area a true Arizona desert look and feel. The home also features an expansive backyard with a terrace was created to support the hillside, and features a stone-surrounding barbecue, succulent garden and glass tile infinity-edge pool. Creating the perfect scene, the barbecue area was created with a stone wall that compliments the environment, according to the Arizona Chapter ASLA’s website. The Levine Residence was the winner of the 2015 Arizona Masonry Guild Excellence in Masonry Merit Award. This custom home was designed and built to capture the breathtaking views of the desert in every room.
Words: Masonry Magazine Staff Photos: Ed Taube
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