Rousseau Design  |  Architecture and General Contracting Rousseau Design

Palm Canyon Hillside Home

Phoenix, Arizona

This home was built on a steep, rocky one-and-a-quarter-acre lot in a prime neighborhood in the Palm Canyon subdivision, nestled in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve not far from the Arizona Biltmore resort. The lot had changed hands several times since the subdivision was developed in the 1950s, but remained unbuilt due to the inherent challenges of the site. Completed in 2008, this was the last home built in Palm Canyon.

Backed up to the mountain, the home shelters intimate shaded courtyards set between the house and its rugged mountain backdrop. A combination of raw industrial elements such as concrete block, exposed structural-steel beams and copper cladding on portions of the exterior reflect a response to this unique cactus-studded, graniteewn site and the intense desert climate. Countertops, cupboards and flooring incorporate green materials, including bamboo.


Though earlier attempts to create a workable design for this unique site had been unsuccessful, this design successfully integrated 6,200 SF of livable space, a four-car garage, guest parking and a 25-meter lap pool. Embracing indigenous architectural materials and details, the home reflects its origins within the desert Southwest and rewards owners with dramatic views of the Valley of the Sun and expansive Southwestern skies.