Custom Home 3,000 to 5,000 Square Feet / Merit Award
When scouring architecture books for their new home's design inspiration, the Scottsdale, Ariz., homeowners fell hard for Richard Neutra's (1892-1970) glass and concrete forms. Architect Ron Brissette took on the challenge of channeling Neutra while maintaining his own architectural identity. By distilling Neutra's ideas to their essence, Brissette then merged them with his own design sensibilities. Intersecting and bypassing planes expressed in steel, glass, and masonry are the soul borrowed from Neutra. Brissette added his heart to the details by slimming down those planes, deepening southern and western overhangs to fend off afternoon sun, and contrasting textural masonry walls with smooth maple millwork. “It was a challenge to get into Neutra's head,” the architect says, “but the house is its own space, and I feel very good about that.”
Controlled landscaping continues the sleek look of the interiors while also working to tame the desert climate. A large pool offers evaporative cooling and adds visual respite from the sun. By bringing greenery right up to the house, Brissette eliminated added heat that a concrete or stone terrace would radiate onto the glass walls. Plantings interspersed with sandstone gravel keep irrigation to a minimum while extended gutters funnel rainwater into planters below for both water reuse and a nifty effect.