Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Mezzo in Phoenix, Arizona by Will Bruder Architects
June 18th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Will Bruder Architects
Approached from its north façade along Whitton Avenue, owners, neighbors and visitors are welcomed to Mezzo through a native desert garden. Site benches and weathered welded wire mesh fences enhance this natural environment and define the exterior spaces of the project. Sandblasted concrete pale green masonry site walls work within this composition to further delineate shared and private areas.
The project emerges from the land by a first level architectural plinth. Four inch pale green concrete masonry unit walls with ‘weeping’ mortar joints are deeply sandblasted for a distinctly rustic appearance. This creates a datum at the first level that corresponds with the courtyard entrances to the homes. Above, coursed pale green eight inch concrete masonry defines the second and third levels of the north and south façades. Raked mortar joints track the organization window openings on these façades, providing a rich architectural composition. This design is enhanced by the use of both clear and mirrored glazing to further animate the façade and several sculptural perforated metal view scrims which animate these elevations.
As these facades ‘kiss’ the sky, a distinctive profile is reflected in their sloping roof lines. Balcony and shade screens on the third level of the east and west facades add additional layers of depth and interest to the architecture. The balconies are clad in galvanized metal while the screens are perforated galvanized metal on weathered steel frames. The auto courtyard is animated by the ‘pop-out’ bay windows that articulate and enhance the kitchen areas of the homes.
In scale and proportion, massing and materiality, as well its finely articulated details, Mezzo draws carefully from the character of its neighbors. Carving out its own unique place in the city for comfortable and appropriate urban desert living. The facades of Mezzo complement both the project’s overall material composition and its relationship to the neighborhood.
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