In the sun-kissed embrace of Paradise Valley, Arizona sits “Mockingbird residence,” a slung courtyard-style home designed by the architecture firm The Ranch Mine. The design elevates the spirit of its surroundings while breaking down the barriers between indoor and outdoor living, creating a home where the arid beauty of the desert meets the sophistication of modern living. As you approach the house, the first thing that captures the eye is the striking interplay of metal fins that adorn the exterior.
Inspired by the spindly and resilient ocotillo plants scattered across the desert landscape, these fins create a dynamic visual texture while providing functional purposes —shading the interior spaces from the intense Arizona sun and providing privacy from cars driving by on the street. The solid travertine masses of the residence pay homage to the rugged mountains that surround the property, anchoring the dwelling to its natural context. The earthy tones and textured surfaces of the travertine not only contribute to the home’s aesthetic appeal but also serve as a grounding element.
Distinguishing itself from many large residences, “Mockingbird House” is a modest height, reaching a maximum elevation of just 15 feet. This intentional design choice prioritizes a low profile to preserve the views of the surrounding mountains. The architectural layout takes the form of a “C,” around a central courtyard with the heart of the home being the great room that features three pocketing multi-slide doors that connect to both the central courtyard and the backyard.
This ensures a fluid transition between indoor and outdoor living spaces, allowing residents to find sun or shade, social areas or solitude at any time of day. The backyard is designed as an all-encompassing retreat. An expansive covered patio supported by thin metal fins and anchored by a steel fireplace features a full kitchen with a poured concrete island, and dining and living areas. Adjacent to this area is a circular sunken fire pit that provides an intimate gathering space under the celestial canvas. The lap pool stretches from this area to the primary suite and contains a Baja shelf and hot tub for relaxation.
The interiors are organic and neutral, letting the natural environment shine. A massive, steel-clad fireplace anchors the great room, as exposed aggregate concrete and wood cabinetry and millwork run through the rest of the house. The primary bathroom is accentuated with skylights and high windows, flooding the space with natural light that changes the color of the white Fireclay tile throughout the day.