Rousseau Design  |  Architecture and General Contracting Rousseau Design

Wilshire Drive Residence

Phoenix, Arizona

Home to a single father and his young son, this home is sited in an established sixty-year-old urban neighborhood where expansive lawns, mature trees and traditional ranch-style houses are the norm.

The single-story front façade blends the house with its older neighbors, belying the modernist instincts that lie beyond. The front door opens on to the "main room" of the home - a shaded courtyard that anchors a casita/home office on one side and the main house on the other. That the front façade of the home unites two separate structures is a pleasant surprise.

The casita houses its own kitchen and bathroom. The home proper comprises two floors in a compact plan. A dramatic corner window spans the height of the two-story living room and allows a wash of light over the painted concrete-block walls.

A master suite occupies the ground floor behind the living area; up an exposed staircase is another three bedrooms, two baths, family room, terrace, laundry and storage. The kitchen, off the main living space, has its own door to the outside, leading on to the courtyard.


Raising the interior floor elevation along with the courtyard gives maximum privacy to the interiors, rear lawn, pool and patio area. Trees line the wall surrounding this raised area, concealing it entirely from the street.

Placing the two-story volume of the home at the back of the property discreetly eases the home into this traditional neighborhood of smaller homes. Orienting large windows away from the direct desert sun deflects heat gain and contributes to energy efficiency.

Client Testimonial

This home is practical yet elegant. The environment is warm and sophisticated, without being fussy. Both adults and children feel comfortable and enjoy the space, which is a great place for entertaining friends and family.