Red Rock Roost

On Phoenix’s famed Camelback Mountain sits some of the finest residences in the city. Most, if not all, afford their owners exhilarating vistas of the vast Valley of the Sun. One in particular gives its residents that and more — what its architect calls “an up close and personal view of the red rocks of Camelback.”


  • Remodel
  • Classic Line
  • Series 600
  • Sliding glass door
  • Window wall


  • Arizona
An open bi-fold door connects the dining area to an outdoor seating area right by mountainous terrain.

“We wanted to create an intimate connection with the side of the mountain coming right up to the home,” says architect Cavin Costello.

The home wasn’t always a sight to behold. Its previous life as a Spanish Colonial-style residence failed to take full advantage of its mountainside setting.

“We wanted to create an intimate connection with the side of the mountain coming right up to the home, and we wanted to create long, panoramic views of the Valley and mountains beyond,” says Cavin Costello, principal architect of The Ranch Mine, the Phoenix-based design firm that led the remodel. “We did this by rearranging the interior of the house and adding a front addition that allows every habitable room to open up to a shaded outdoor patio. And we provided ample glass to take in views from everywhere in the house.”

The result is a lively, striking 4,500-square-foot home with contemporary lines, big glass, and a modern aesthetic.

The large multi-slide door in a sitting area connects to an outdoor patio with a great view of the Phoenix skyline in the distance.

From most rooms of the home, one gets a view of the Phoenix skyline in the distance.

At first glance, the most eye-catching element of the home is the three-panel, second story window wall in the master bedroom. The massive wall of glass provides amazing views of Phoenix to the south. “In the evening, you can watch the planes fly over the desert into Sky Harbor Airport, which is really fun,” Costello says.
The fixed windows in this bedroom provides a view of valley residences while a large multi-slide door connects to an outdoor seating area.

This bedroom embraces desert views and invites natural light into the space.

A small window provides a view of Camelback Mountain.

Not just big glass is used in this mountainside residence.

Even with the southern exposure, the 12-by-8-foot wall of low-E glass and aluminum achieved the level of energy efficiency Costello had hoped for. The master bedroom also has a stacking sliding glass door that opens to a balcony that runs nearly the length of the second floor and has one truly unique feature: an accordion-style steel shade screen.
The stacking, multi-slide doors open rooms on both floors of the house to the outside patio and pool.

What once was a dated Spanish Colonial-style design is now a contemporary, site-specific architectural statement.

“It was the first time we ever designed one,” says Costello. “We knew that we had to figure out a way to create more shade facing south, but the trick was that we still wanted the homeowners to take in the panoramic views. The screen filters the sun during the day, and it can be folded up at night (or when you want to be in the sun) to enjoy the amazing views. The custom pattern is denser at the top and bottom, allowing you to still have a nice view through the screens while seated.”

The second-floor bedroom balcony oversees Camelback Mountain and the valley beyond.

Architect Cavin Costello declares this “Juliet balcony” one of his favorite parts of the home.

Just below is a covered first-floor patio whose centerpiece is a giant four-panel stacking multi-slide door that opens from the living area to the patio and offers easy access to a covered outdoor entertaining area, complete with a barbecue and sparkling pool. The 20-foot opening, with its 5-foot-wide panels of glass, seamlessly blurs the boundary between the indoors and outdoors. Directly over the covered outdoor living space is one of the three second-floor bedrooms. It also features a 12-foot-wide window wall as well as a sliding glass door that opens to one of Costello’s favorite parts of the home: a Juliet balcony that oversees the valley.
The second-floor balconies connect to views of the resort-like patio and majestic Camelback Mountain.

At night, Costello says, it’s fun to watch to watch planes fly over the desert toward Sky Harbor International Airport to the south.

Architect Cavin Costello, The Ranch Mine
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