Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on October 17, 2008
Envision rusting metal mesh, glass boxes, steel frames and wide open blue skies, and you may just start to see The Xeros house in your mind. This building design fully embraces the idea of recycled materials. And while I love recycled materials, I’m completely giddy about the idea of recycling a neighborhood — which was one of the major objectives in choosing the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix, Arizona as the home’s location. “We feel the most important thing we did was to go into a place like Sunnyslope that had not only economic depression but also some social questionability. It needed a second life. A residence like Xeros can turn that around,” says architect Matthew Trzebiatowski in a Dwell magazine interview.
This beautiful home, designed by Trzebiatowski and his wife Lisa, was named after the Greek word Xeros, which means dry. The name came about as a reminder that the design should be a direct response to the project and its natural surroundings. In this case, since the house was built in dry Arizona, the name suited the area well. And according to Matthew, the site itself was recycled, in that new life was injected into a neglected lot in an otherwise ignored neighborhood.
Matthew has no real need to push that his home — which also functions as his office — is sustainable. Built of refashioned steel, glass, and concrete, it has been designed to weather naturally as it blends in with the surrounding hills. The more exposed parts of the home face to the south and east and are shielded by an external layer of woven metal shade mesh. Low water vegetation was placed around the residence to add to the shading effect of the screen.
Simple enough. No need for talk of sparkling Bosch energy efficient appliances or solar power. In this case, it’s just sustainable design that takes a breath. Or maybe I’m just taking a breath.