Sol House

Phoenix, Arizona
Landscape Design
Builder
  • Boxwell Southwest
Photographer
Location
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Type
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2016
  • Square Feet
  • 2300
  • Lot Size
  • 11,466 SF
  • Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 3
  • Sol is an infill house in the Willo Historic District in midtown Phoenix inspired by the southwestern urban vernacular of the courtyard house. The modern home is designed to both embrace and escape the sun and the city.

    Sol sits at the crux of development in Phoenix, just 300 yards from a light rail station in a rapidly urbanizing core, yet surrounded by an early 1900s historic district. This 2300 square foot, new build home built by Boxwell Southwest not only had to gain approval from the Historic Preservation Office, but it had to navigate the reality of a growing metropolis. Although urbanization and historic preservation may typically be at odds, we chose to look to the past in order to design for the more urban future.

    The style of the courtyard house was first introduced to the region in the late 17th century and is ideal for urban living in a desert climate. It provides an escape from the bustle of the city while also creating a shaded, naturally cooled outdoor room. Sol is a U-shaped courtyard house with a cantilevered roof projecting towards the open, fourth side. The cantilevered roof creates a generous, covered outdoor living area, sheltered from the sun, while the open side allows breezes to flow across the pool where evaporation cools the air before it cross ventilates the main living space with help from the Venturi Effect. Steps away, the added touches of a custom curved concrete bench and firepit provide a place to warm up, whether by lounging in the sun during the day or by the fire at night.

    The house embraces the city primarily in 3 areas that are carved out of an otherwise efficiently designed box. First, the front porch is recessed with walls that flare out towards the street, as if to open its arms and welcome the neighborhood. Once inside, the beams in the open living space extend through the glass and angle up towards the developing midtown skyline. Finally, to get a better view of the skyline while soaking up the cool night sky, an integrated exterior stair leads up to a hidden roof deck, a nod to sleeping porches that are native to the southwest.

    The courtyard house originated as an attempt to create an oasis, whether from the sun and heat in desert climates, or the public in populated areas. As the cities of the desert southwest continue to infill, we hope to see the local vernacular form of the courtyard house return to prominence and the potential of their modern interpretations fully explored. Homes should be a refuge: a place to not only hang one's hat but, if you will, rejuvenate the heart and "Sol".

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    Modern home with Outdoor, Side Yard, Desert, Hardscapes, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, and Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck. "Sol" is a new home in the Willo Historic District in Phoenix. The house is a modern interpretation of the vernacular courtyard style found throughout the southwest. Photo  of Sol House

    "Sol" is a new home in the Willo Historic District in Phoenix. The house is a modern interpretation of the vernacular courtyard style found throughout the southwest.

    Modern home with Outdoor, Front Yard, Shrubs, Desert, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, and Walkways. The front uses common materials to the neighborhood in a new modern way. A recessed front porch walls flare out as if to welcome the community Photo 2 of Sol House

    The front uses common materials to the neighborhood in a new modern way. A recessed front porch walls flare out as if to welcome the community

    Modern home with Outdoor, Side Yard, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, Trees, Hardscapes, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck, and Desert. A 10 foot deep cantilevered roof provides consistent shade pool side in the courtyard Photo 3 of Sol House

    A 10 foot deep cantilevered roof provides consistent shade pool side in the courtyard

    Modern home with Outdoor, Desert, Back Yard, and Tile Patio, Porch, Deck. A hidden outdoor shower is located between the pool and master bedroom Photo 4 of Sol House

    A hidden outdoor shower is located between the pool and master bedroom

    Modern home with Outdoor, Desert, Hardscapes, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, Side Yard, and Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck. A stairway leads up to a roof deck, inspired by the historic sleeping porches in the area that take advantage of the cold nights to cool off in the desert. Photo 5 of Sol House

    A stairway leads up to a roof deck, inspired by the historic sleeping porches in the area that take advantage of the cold nights to cool off in the desert.

    Modern home with Outdoor, Front Yard, Desert, Trees, Shrubs, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, and Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck. Driveway lanes lead to a rolling gate for everyday parking. A 2 car garage is accessed of the alley in the rear. Photo 6 of Sol House

    Driveway lanes lead to a rolling gate for everyday parking. A 2 car garage is accessed of the alley in the rear.

    Modern home with Outdoor, Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck, Desert, Walkways, and Side Yard. A curved wall shields the courtyard beyond Photo 7 of Sol House

    A curved wall shields the courtyard beyond

    Modern home with Outdoor, Side Yard, Desert, Trees, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, Hardscapes, Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck, and Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck. Cantilevered wood beams angle up towards the growing city skyline. On the left, a sloped area captures the monsoon rainfall and the Mulga Acacia trees will grow to the height of the home over time to provide more shade and privacy. Photo 8 of Sol House

    Cantilevered wood beams angle up towards the growing city skyline. On the left, a sloped area captures the monsoon rainfall and the Mulga Acacia trees will grow to the height of the home over time to provide more shade and privacy.

    Modern home with Dining Room, Ceiling Lighting, Table, Bench, Pendant Lighting, and Porcelain Tile Floor. The wood beams flow from inside to outside and angle up to capture a view of the tallest tower in the area. Photo 9 of Sol House

    The wood beams flow from inside to outside and angle up to capture a view of the tallest tower in the area.

    Modern home with Living Room, Coffee Tables, Chair, Sofa, Porcelain Tile Floor, and Ceiling Lighting. The focus of the great room was to connect with the outside patio. The sliding patio doors on the left and high windows on the right open up to create a nice cross breeze, cooling the house. Photo 10 of Sol House

    The focus of the great room was to connect with the outside patio. The sliding patio doors on the left and high windows on the right open up to create a nice cross breeze, cooling the house.

    Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, Wood Cabinet, Porcelain Tile Floor, Glass Tile Backsplashe, Ceiling Lighting, Pendant Lighting, Refrigerator, Range Hood, Range, and Undermount Sink. The kitchen features a custom, stainless steel hood that is flush with the upper cabinets. Photo 11 of Sol House

    The kitchen features a custom, stainless steel hood that is flush with the upper cabinets.

    Modern home with Dining Room, Table, Bench, Chair, Ceiling Lighting, and Porcelain Tile Floor. Integrated, dimmable LED lighting provides even light throughout the space and extends to the cantilevered patio outside. Photo 12 of Sol House

    Integrated, dimmable LED lighting provides even light throughout the space and extends to the cantilevered patio outside.

    Modern home with Storage Room and Shelves Storage Type. Hidden room behind a bookcase door Photo 13 of Sol House

    Hidden room behind a bookcase door

    Modern home with Storage Room and Shelves Storage Type. Hidden room behind a bookcase door Photo 14 of Sol House

    Hidden room behind a bookcase door

    Modern home with Outdoor, Side Yard, Desert, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, and Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck. The courtyard lit up at night with midtown Phoenix beyond. Photo 15 of Sol House

    The courtyard lit up at night with midtown Phoenix beyond.

    Modern home with Outdoor, Side Yard, Desert, Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck, Trees, and Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck. Lights light up the stairs to the roof deck. Photo 16 of Sol House

    Lights light up the stairs to the roof deck.

    Modern home with Outdoor, Side Yard, Desert, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, and Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck. Overall view of the courtyard that extends the livable area of the home Photo 17 of Sol House

    Overall view of the courtyard that extends the livable area of the home

    Modern home with Outdoor, Rooftop, and Decking Patio, Porch, Deck. Roof deck for taking in the growing skyline and cooling off on the cold desert nights. Photo 18 of Sol House

    Roof deck for taking in the growing skyline and cooling off on the cold desert nights.

    Modern home with Outdoor, Side Yard, Decomposed Granite Patio, Porch, Deck, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, Desert, and Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck. Custom firepit and concrete bench off to the side of the pool and hot tub Photo 19 of Sol House

    Custom firepit and concrete bench off to the side of the pool and hot tub

    Modern home with Bath Room, Undermount Sink, Porcelain Tile Floor, Alcove Tub, Engineered Quartz Counter, Open Shower, Ceiling Lighting, Two Piece Toilet, and Glass Tile Wall. Main bathroom Photo 20 of Sol House

    Main bathroom

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