An Old Horse Barn Is Repurposed as a Chic Desert Guesthouse

An Old Horse Barn Is Repurposed as a Chic Desert Guesthouse

Former horse stalls now serve as concrete room dividers in this modernist guest home in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Phoenix design-build firm The Construction Zone renovated an old concrete-and-steel barn, turning it into a sleek new guesthouse with an open-plan, three-room layout. Completed for approximately $300,000, the 790-square-foot adaptive reuse project carefully preserves the character of the existing structure while upgrading it to match the modern aesthetic of the main residence.

"The finished project has an intentionality that obscures the old and the new," The Construction Zone tells us. "The new use of the guesthouse takes full advantage of the old structure in a way that effectively defines the open floor plan into kitchen, dining, living, and sleeping."

The entire structure was repurposed and extended to the north with the addition of glass walls and a low steel-and-wood ceiling.

To mitigate the desert’s temperature extremes, high-performance glass was installed. The architects also emphasized the home’s north-south exposure to avoid unwanted solar gains from the hot afternoon sun. Spray foam insulation was used for the roof and ceiling.

Vertical-grain Douglas Fir covers the flat, overhanging roof plane that appears to float above the custom north-facing wall of glass and black steel. The steel-framed glass wall overlooks and opens up to a new outdoor spa and cacti-punctuated garden with a bocce ball court, patio, and jacuzzi. 

The three-room guesthouse contains a kitchen, living area, and master suite separated by concrete dividers.

Vibrant splashes of red and orange in decor offset the gray concrete floors and walls. The clean and contemporary interior design also includes a variety of textures and textiles to create a cozy atmosphere. The exposed timber on the underside of the roof plane and other wooden furnishings lend warmth to the space.

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