Monsoon Stories: Arizona Architects On Designing For The Rain
Monsoon in Arizona comes every year and brings violent wind, thunder, lightning and rain.
Claire and Cavin Costello are the owners of the Ranch Mine, an architecture firm in Phoenix.
Named for the pioneer spirit they found when they first drove around the state, the architects behind Ranch Mine say there are two things you think about when you design in the desert Southwest.
The number one thing is the sun, but the second is the monsoon.
Ranch Mine designs retention areas that direct rainwater runoff, and make sure to choose materials that are strong enough to withstand high winds we see with each storm. The external envelope, the roofing materials, the siding materials and what would be wise and last a long time.
But, beyond the practical, there’s something that happens to the light when a storm is coming in that the Costellos say creates a little magic. They often use metal screens printed with intricate cut-out patterns in their work to highlight it.