Project: White Dates House
Architects: The Ranch Mine
Structural Engineer: Broderick Engineering
Architect: The Ranch Mine, Cavin Costello
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Area: 4545 ft2
Photographs: Dan Ryan Studio
When the architecture firm The Ranch Mine drove up to their new project site in the fall of 2018 they spotted perhaps the most iconic midcentury home in Phoenix across the street, a house designed by Al Beadle commonly known as White Gates which has sat vacant for decades. Knowing the history of this home, the architects knew immediately that they had the challenging task of creating a new neighborhood that should honor the legacy of the midcentury modern icon while adding a distinctly new chapter to the story of this unique neighborhood.
The house is named “White Dates House,” a play on White Gates inspired by the Date palm trees found on the site, including one that is used to mark the entry of the home.
The layout of the house was driven by prioritizing the view of Camelback Mountain, placing the great room and primary suite in positions to make the most of it. The great room features floor-to-ceiling pocketing glass doors on both sides of the room, capturing the cool breezes that come up the mountain and opening out onto front and rear patios for seamless indoor and outdoor living.
To honor the iconic midcentury neighbor, The Ranch Mine incorporated midcentury modern design elements in the design in fresh, contemporary ways. The front patio is perhaps the clearest midcentury connection, using breezeblock to screen the road and focus the view towards the mountain beyond. The architects used breezeblock from a local company on a more grandiose scale than most midcentury applications.
The exterior patios and walkways are flagstone and the entry of the house is highlighted by a singular date palm tree growing through a triangular aperture to the sky, referencing Albert Frey’s entry to Palm Springs City Hall. The architects then used the Date palm leaf as pattern inspiration throughout the home, such as the wood details behind the bar and the midcentury-like screen wall in the formal sitting area.
The interior palette is restrained to let the mountain and midcentury design elements come to the forefront, using concrete floors, plaster in the primary bath and shower, and a combination of walnut, white oak, and matte black cabinetry.