Ordinary materials, extraordinary house.
A simple, humble ranch building? Hardly. This remarkable owner-built house in Mesa, Arizona, did use the same commonplace materials (corrugated siding, concrete block, pine flooring, even wire cattle fencing) found in and around genuine ranch buildings nearby. But here they're arranged to create a striking contemporary composition. The materials are a response to a limited budget; the house's shape is a response to the building site, a passed-over lot at the base of a gravelly scarp. And the lesson is that out of common materials and tough constraints an rise a house that conquers its problems and does so creatively. For architect-owner Bob Deardorff, the lot's irregular and narrow shape defined the outline of the foundation and forced the vertical emphasis of the fundamentally wedge-shaped structure. Locally cast concrete block teams with corrugated metal siding to clad most of the house. Galvanized steel, which acts as an efficient heat reflector, covers the entire southeast side. Red-lacquered plywood panels at the southwest corner provide a punch of color and define the kitchen and, above it, the master bath. A small, spare deck extends out toward the billside almost like a drawer being pulled out of the side of the house. A sophisticated composition indoors Inside, too, humble materials are artfully arranged and finished. Except where some tile is used in baths, kitchen, and hearth-floors throughout the house are tongue-and-groove pine decking finished with clear polyurethane. Stairs between levels are fir 2-by-12s wrapped with sheet metal; Deardorff used galvanized Uchannel usually used as the floor and ceiling track for metal studs) to wrap the tread edges. Railings are painted pipe; a heavy galvanized steel wire grid (sold locally as cattle fencing) fills the openings. Deardorff allotted three floors for the house's public areas: the ground floor holds the entry, a guest room with bath, and storage areas. Up a half-level is the living room (two bleacher-like steps run down the center to create a more intimate seating area around the fireplace whose flue has been left exposed on its run from firebox to ceiling). Another half-level up are the dining room and kitchen area. The master suite occupies the top floor. The suite's tile-panned shower acts as a room divider, with closet to one side and the rest of the bathroom to the other. Pocket doors slide out to the stall walls to provide some privacy. 1-3
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|Date:||Jun 1, 1990|
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