Bill Timmerman Photography
Bill Timmerman Photography

Situated in the Arizona desert, this modern home serves as an extension of the landscape that surrounds it. Its neutral palette of materials—glass, concrete, and metal—are fashioned into horizontal planes that echo the stratified environs. Naturally, for a space this hip, not just any fireplace would do.

Befitting the home’s ultra-clean lines, the living room fireplace offers a contemporary twist on a traditional hearth with a design that confines the fire to a single narrow strip. “The idea was that a line of flame would be squeezing out between two angled steel plates,” says Jonathan Heilman, vice president of design at Allen + Philip Architects. “The flame would warm the steel plates, which would then warm the room.”

A zinc hood extends out from one end, leaving the fireplace exposed on three sides. Thin black lines through the metal reference the line of fire below, while also creating a break to hide a sliding door panel that conceals a flat-screen television when not in use. “I have a pet peeve about seeing a fireplace and a TV in the same place,” Heilman says.

The master suite and guest bedroom each have their own version of the fireplace, featuring the same striped zinc hood over a hearth of cast-in-place concrete. To avoid too contemporary a feel in the home’s private spaces, however, the bedroom hearths trade the linear flame for a more traditional round fire basin, warming the rooms with a homier feel.