Rousseau Design  |  Architecture and General Contracting Rousseau Design

Isabell Court

Phoenix, Arizona

Four two-story detached homes – each with approximately 2,500 SF of livable space plus a private courtyard and a two-car garage – share this compact 1/3-acre site, adjacent to the Roosevelt Historic District just off Central Avenue in the heart of Phoenix. Near a light-rail stop, the main public library and the Phoenix Art Museum, the site provides excellent access to the pleasures of urban living, while providing a serene oasis for residents.

Built around a central courtyard with tiled fountain, the materials – painted concrete masonry units, brick window sills, structural I-beam lintels and custom-fabricated steel windows with mitered glass – reflect an indigenous Phoenix architecture.


This lot had remained vacant for almost 20 years, a testimony to the challenge of designing an effective transition between commercial development on one side and historic residential on the other. Building four upscale single-family homes – while incorporating commensurate amenities and preserving the owners’ privacy, celebrating their common space and also responding to the traditional streetscape with grace and elegance – was replete with challenges, yet ultimately successful.


Phoenix Home & Garden, May 2004: “City Life: A multitude of options for urban living.”

Client Testimonial

We absolutely love our house. It’s comfortable, it’s beautiful. We think of it as a mid-century modern urban style; you see lots of homes in L.A. that have tall windows like ours. It’s right next to a historic district, and blends in well with the neighborhood. It’s a great infill project, just a hop skip and a jump to restaurants, right next to light rail. I walk to the library all the time.

We love the proportion of the rooms, and Clyde has such great attention to detail. The way he designed the houses, you’re not looking into anyone else’s home, so even though we have close neighbors, it’s extremely private.

Clyde is a wonderful designer, and the people he employs do superb work. We saw it when it was still under construction, so we had the opportunity to look inside the walls. It’s so beautifully built. For instance, the insulation is superb; it’s very soundproof. I have to come to bottom of stairs to call to my husband, or he doesn’t hear me.