In furthering their design education, two young architects decide to be their own designers, clients, and builders. The result? A completely bespoke house where everything is handmade, even the sinks.
Architects Jay Atherton and Cy Keener, friends from graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, created an out-of-the-ordinary house in downtown Phoenix using the ubiquitous desert building material, concrete block. With rigor, thought, and time, the pair wanted to accomplish as much as possible using just a few materials. Were they successful? Their unconventional and edgy kitchen details and the subsequent founding of their firm, Atherton Keener, might suggest that they were.
Above: Walls made out of concrete block frame the opening to the galley kitchen. Concrete block is a ubiquitous building material in the desert climate.
Above: The architects made all the cabinets (bathroom, kitchen, hallway storage) out of plywood which they dyed black. Instead of handles, they cut out narrow slots in the cabinets to serve as hand pulls.
Above: A detail of the marine plywood kitchen sink that Atherton made and inset into the concrete countertop.
Above: An knife holder has been integrated into the kitchen counter.
Above: The architects designed their own inset switch plates from one-eight-inch aluminum and inset them into the concrete block wall.