Designed by architecture studio The Ranch Mine, Pleats is a 1,850 square feet, three sided courtyard house in the foothills of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The foundation of the original house was reused and the space was redesigned to fit the bedrooms, including a master suite that was lacking before. A new, gabled volume was added to take in mountain views and provide an indoor/outdoor great room with a perforated metal patio cover to ease the transition from the strong, sunlit exterior to the interior.
A garage and workshop is tucked behind the house, completing the 3-sided courtyard. Aesthetically, the exterior of the house is the protagonist, with the adoption elements of the Saguaro Cactus. The house draws its name, “Pleats”, from the corrugated metal that wraps the gabled volume, reminiscent of the pleated exterior of the cactus. The gabled entry features a patterned, wood rainscreen that evokes the forked ribs of the cactus while the recessed entry is akin to a Saguaro boot—the holes in the giant cacti that many desert animals use as their homes.
Beautifully captured by photography studio Roehner + Ryan, Pleats House wouldn’t be considered quintessentially minimal, however its use of materials and colours, as well as its geometric design and lack of ornamentation, makes this house blend minimalism with simplicity effortlessly. More importantly, it is a design that works perfectly within its environment and for its inhabitants.
Based in Arizona, The Ranch Mine is led by Cavin Costello and Claire Costello. The duo developed the First Phoenix Green Construction Code project, designing for visionary real estate developers, and creating inspired homes for unique homeowners. Cavin and Claire have continued to push the envelope in designing for the pioneer spirit which has won them the 2019 HGTV Designer of the Year for their ‘Red Rocks’ project, and a 2015 National American Institute of Architects contest that named them the “Future of Architecture”.