Allen & Cowley Residence

Phoenix, Arizona
Residential 5,646 SF
Interiors Lee Allen, Plan B

By capturing the best qualities of an infill lot and repairing its scars, this residence contributes to the fabric of the neighborhood and community.

The unusual property—a hillside near downtown Phoenix—had potential for interesting views north to the mountains and south to city lights. However, it sat vacant for many years because of the peninsula shape and a disproportionate amount of street frontage with corresponding setbacks, making it difficult to comply with the Phoenix Hillside Ordinance. Moreover, the lot had been scarred by a road crossing from one side of the peninsula to the other.

The solution incorporates the old road as a driveway between the house and the garage. The bridge between the two structures provides cover for the main entry below and a view deck above. Guest quarters have private entries on the lower level; the owners’ quarters are above, following the natural topography.

Awards + Publications

  • Tucker Design Award – Building Stone Institute, 2012
  • Grand Award - 48th Annual PCBC Gold Nugget Awards, 2011
  • Honor Award - Arizona Masonry Guild, 2007

The design uses traditional stone in contemporary ways. Thick walls anchor the building to the land. A cantilevered roof protects southern glass from summer sun. Natural light illuminates the interior and changes the shadow patterns throughout the day. The strong geometry of interconnected spaces creates a variety of indoor/outdoor experiences and provides a framework for the owners’ sophisticated furnishings.

The architecture celebrates the setting and preserves the peak of the hill for the neighborhood.

Striking use of stone in a contemporary way. It appears as if the stone was picked off the surrounding mountains. The stone flows from inside the residence to the outside patio and landscape.

— Juror comment, Tucker Design Awards

The glowing coloration of the local stone, used in contrast to plain painted concrete and steel, defines the strong forms of this residence. The stonework is finely laid, and the punched apertures are well considered for scale, view and interior light.

— Juror Comment, Tucker Design Awards