Urban-Infill Home With Innovative Details

Cavin and Claire Costello of The Ranch Mine make creative use of space and common materials in this urban-infill modern home in Phoenix, Ariz.

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Photo By: The Ranch Mine

Cost-Effective Home Construction

The 2,000-square-foot home was built at a cost of $138 a square foot thanks to the simple building materials used in thoughtful ways. The Ranch Mine's efforts earned them a Future of Architecture Residential Design Contest and Showcase Award for Innovation, given by The American Institute of Architects and Houzz.

LED Lighting Strips

LED light strips are placed on track mounts in between the walnut plywood boards that clad the ceiling. The result is a diffused glow which illuminates the entire space without feeling overly harsh.

Indoor-Outdoor Living

"We didn’t have much space with the lot, and we wanted outdoor living space. So what if the entire living space could become an outdoor room," Cavin Costello says. "It makes a small space possible for very large entertaining. We had an open house, and we easily had over 200 people here."

Honoring the Design of the Neighborhood

The simple L-shape layout of the home was informed by size, scale and floorplans of the neighboring houses. The home design had to fit into the 1930s and '40s-era neighborhood while still reflecting the time in which it was built.

Textured Concrete Fire Pit

The fire pit in the backyard is made from the same concrete textured by raw wood as the half-wall in the front of the house, creating a continuity in the design.

Urban-Infill Project On a Tight Budget

This home began as an urban-infill project on a tiny vacant lot in a historic neighborhood. The challenge was to create a home that both fit in among the neighboring homes built in the 1930s and 1940s while still looking like a home created for current times -- all on a tight budget.

Expanding the Living Space Outdoors

Both the front wall and back wall of the living area fully retract to open the space up into the front and back yards. The home's concrete slab foundation doubles as the interior flooring.

Energy Innovation

The orientation of the home and the roof overhang keep the light from hitting the glass until the winter months, at which time the sun reaches the concrete floor and warms it, saving the homeowners on energy costs.