Rousseau Design  |  Architecture and General Contracting Rousseau Design

Minnezona Residence

Phoenix, Arizona

On a tiny site adjacent to a canal in an established central-city neighborhood, living space in the concrete-masonry-unit structure includes 1,650 SF of air-conditioned space, plus an Arizona room, all organized around a central courtyard. 

The front door opens directly onto a foyer, which surprisingly, leads into an open-air Arizona room. A loft that functions as an office overlooks the two-story living room. A wrap-around porch shades the master bedroom, and a small pool and hot tub are situated just outside the adjacent bathroom. An upstairs balcony overlooks the adjacent canal.

The use of painted concrete masonry units, brick window sills and exposed structural-steel I-beam ridge beams and lintels, stained concrete floors and copper plumbing pipe used as handrails, drapery rods and towel bars contribute to a sense of indigenous Phoenix architecture. Arts & Crafts-inspired detailing such as exposed rafter tails, tongue-and-groove sheathing and unglazed quarry tiles reflect the warmth and comfort, as do doors featuring exotic hardwood with sheet-steel panels.


Because the site did not meet the City’s minimum size requirements, a variance was procured. The compact yet airy design of this home resolved major site constraints and stretched a tight budget. The lot was purchased for $11,000 and the home built for $75,000.


Phoenix Home & Garden, April 2002: “Arizona Aesthetic: For his own home, a Phoenix architect adds a twist to traditional regional design.”

Client Testimonial

The house is like a little resort in the middle of downtown Phoenix – your own little compound, completely private, with a spa, pool and outdoor living space. We loved the unique details and style. When we moved out of town, we could hardly bear to part with it.

It always felt Mediterranean to me, because it’s so simple, and open to the air, with a lot of light inside the house. It’s really quite a small house, but the high ceilings and so many nooks and crannies made it feel all that much bigger. We often had 100 people there when we entertained, and people always commented, “What an expansive house.”