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Friday, 29 March 2019

The Ranch Mine's Weave house in Phoenix draws upon work by Georgia O’Keeffe


Weave House by The Ranch Mine

American studio The Ranch Mine has completed a modern courtyard home in Arizona that alludes to Georgia O'Keeffe paintings and prioritises "simple materials, distinctive geometries and the desert sky".



Weave House by The Ranch Mine

Located in Uptown Phoenix, the Weave house was built atop a former parking lot in a historic district. The project's name stems from the weaving together of modern amenities with a vernacular distinct to the American Southwest.


Weave House by The Ranch Mine

While designing the project, local studio The Ranch Mine turned to paintings of adobe buildings by Georgia O'Keeffe – the famed artist who also lived and worked in an adobe home in New Mexico.

"Like Georgia O'Keeffe's work, Weave is derived from a focus on line, colour and composition, creating a modern home with simple materials, distinctive geometries and the desert sky in an effort to reinvigorate the residential architecture of the American Southwest," the studio said in a project statement.

Weave House by The Ranch Mine

U-shaped in plan, the wood-framed home consists of rectilinear volumes organised around a central courtyard. The facades of the single-storey dwelling are sheathed in cream-toned stucco, helping reflect the intense desert sun. Windows and doors are framed in black metal.

From the street, the home is meant to look unfussy, with emphasis placed on the vast blue sky surrounding it.

Weave House by The Ranch Mine

"The front elevation is simple in its massing and materials, letting the sky and shadows provide constantly changing visual interest," The Ranch Mine added.




To access the home, one passes through a low-lying, perforated metal gate and enters a front yard with climate-sensitive landscaping. This outdoor space "softens the transition from the street with a series of desert plantings, stucco walls and a steel planter".

Weave House by The Ranch Mine

The front door is set within a shaded, recessed area featuring traditional-style benches, known as "bancos". Overhead, a large woven soffit is made of Douglas fir sourced from the homeowner's own lumber mill.

This attention-grabbing element takes cues from viga-and-latilla ceilings – a classic element in adobe buildings. Latillas are boards or peeled branches that are laid between structural wooden beams, or vigas.

Weave House by The Ranch Mine

Encompassing 2,543 square feet (236 square metres), the residence features a fluid layout and bright rooms with concrete flooring and wooden accents.

The public zone encompasses an open-plan kitchen, dining area and living room. Operable windows facilitate natural ventilation and bring in diffused daylight, while bi-folding glass doors provide a smooth connection to the central courtyard.

Weave House by The Ranch Mine

The team used a neutral colour palette and earthy finishes throughout the dwelling, including white oak cabinetry and honed-marble countertops. In the master bathroom, a copper soaking tub was placed next to a large, pivoting door – transforming the private area into "an outdoor experience".

Weave House by The Ranch Mine

Concealed from the street, the central courtyard provides the homeowners with a private space for enjoying the outdoors. Rather than put a traditional fountain in the space, the team installed a swimming pool. The water helps cool the air while also adding humidity – both important considerations in the desert.

The courtyard is partly shaded by a canopy that resembles the latilla-type ceiling in the front of the home. The generous outdoor space also features a wall-hung kitchen, various seating options and a steel-clad fireplace for staying warm on cold nights.

Weave House by The Ranch Mine

Founded in 2010, The Ranch Mine is led by the husband-and-wife team of Cavin and Claire Costello.

The firm has completed a number of projects in the Phoenix area, including the limestone-clad Red Rocks House and the Canal House, which takes cues from mission-style architecture. The firm also created the Uptown Row townhouse development that is wrapped in weathering steel, brick and light-toned stucco.

Photography is by Roehner + Ryan.

Shipping container micro-housing proposed for City of the Dead in Cairo


Sheltainer offers shipping containers as alternative housing for Cairo's cemetery-dwellers

Architects Mouaz Abouzaid, Bassel Omara and Ahmed Hammad have proposed creating micro homes from shipping containers, called Sheltainers, for people living in Cairo's cemeteries.


Sheltainer, which was the winner of the World Architecture Festival's WAFX Ethics and Value category, would re-purpose shipping containers to re-house people currently living in informal settlements that have grown up in the city's cemeteries.

Sheltainer offers shipping containers as alternative housing for Cairo's cemetery-dwellers

The Cairo Necropolis, known as the City of the Dead or El'arafa, is a four-mile-long graveyard in the southeastern part of the Egyptian capital. Between 500,000 and one million people, part of Cairo's population of 19.5 milliom, are reported to be living in makeshift homes between the tombs.

Abouzaid, Omara and Hammad said they felt they had a "professional and moral duty" to address this housing crisis in their work.

Sheltainer offers shipping containers as alternative housing for Cairo's cemetery-dwellers

"People have been building light structures from wooden, fabric, plastic, or metal scraps which is a hazard for life and safety," the architects told Dezeen.

"With our knowledge and the residents' manpower we can convert the shipping containers to homes. They have been living under metal corrugated sheets, which is beyond inhumanity."

Sheltainer offers shipping containers as alternative housing for Cairo's cemetery-dwellers

Described by the architects as a "micro-housing solution [for] the less fortunate", Sheltainer is a model of eight homes built around a central courtyard with a tower in the centre.

They decided to use shipping containers because of the availability of the metal cargo boxes as a construction material.

"Egypt has many ports – the nearest one is one hour away from the project site. There are many unused containers left out to rust and here was our starting point," said the architects.

Sheltainer offers shipping containers as alternative housing for Cairo's cemetery-dwellers

The architects would liaise with the local authorities to have burials halted for two years before starting the project, and the existing graves would be preserved as historic sites.




Residents would be enlisted as part of the design and build process for the new neighbourhoods.

"We will teach them how to build their own homes but using containers and this will upgrade the social connectivity between them and their homes," said the architects.

Sheltainer offers shipping containers as alternative housing for Cairo's cemetery-dwellers

Eventually the neighbourhoods would aim to not only introduce sanitation, said the design team, but to eventually be zero waste. Towers in the centre of each courtyard would house wind turbines, solar panels and water tanks for the surrounding homes.

These towers would also double as pigeon lofts for local pigeon fanciers to breed birds, a popular occupation in the city. "We wanted to maintain the culture of the people living in Cairo," explained the architects.

Sheltainer offers shipping containers as alternative housing for Cairo's cemetery-dwellers

The structures would also provide a visual connection with the minarets that define the surrounding skyline.

Shipping containers, with their ready-made and robust forms, are an attractive material for architects working in remote places or with small budgets.

A team of architects created technology that can harvest fresh drinking from the air that's designed to be housed inside a shipping container for ease of transport, and another conceptual project proposes filling a multi-storey carpark with containers to create a low-cost housing development.