When Tempe, Ariz.–based architects Maria and Matthew Salenger decided to work at home, they designed this flexible live/work structure across the rear courtyard from their original house—and earned a Custom Home Design Award for the result (see page 58). A long south-facing wall lined with sliding glass doors gives the interior kitchen, living, dining, and studio spaces full visual access to the outdoors. To cope with the Arizona sun, they devised a translucent, operable awning that also serves as a building-width light fixture.
The awning’s operable leaf, a light, steel-framed shade sheathed in translucent polycarbonate, moves by means of a cable-and-pulley system. “We used polycarbonate because it’s the least expensive translucent material that can be exposed to the weather,” Matthew Salenger says. In its lowered position, the shade extends an already-generous soffit—also polycarbonate—to shelter the patio. When raised, it encloses a light box that glows evenly at both its vertical and horizontal faces.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ.