Sosnowski Residence / Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC

© Bill Timmerman

Architects: Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC / Szu-Ping Patricia Chen Suchart and Thamarit Suchart
Location: Tempe, Arizona,
Construction Company: AED Structural Engineers, Inc., Christopher J. Sosnowski, P.E.
Construction Area: 3,427 sf or 318.40 sqm
Project Year: 2004-2006
Photography: Bill Timmerman, Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC

Sited in a 1950′s era dense neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona, the Sosnowski Residence takes the form of a courtyard house defined by three sandblasted 8-8-16 standard gray CMU walls at the main level and an exposed Virendeel truss at the upper level that ultimately characterizes the project.

© Bill Timmerman

The main level’s CMU walls define the major public spaces of the project, which include an outdoor courtyard, living room, dining room, kitchen, and koi garden. The public spaces are also flanked by the garage and guest bedrooms, in turn providing additional privacy from the street and the neighbors. The outdoor spaces maintain an open relationship to the residence by means of two 30’ wide expanses of operable sliding glass doors. The master suite resides in the Virendeel truss above. The integration of the courtyard and koi garden as an essential part to the daily experience enables the project to fully embrace the outdoor spaces of the front and back yards.

© Bill Timmerman
Cite: "Sosnowski Residence / Chen + Suchart Studio, LLC" 04 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Habito Kun

    Great Concept. Though i would use a part of the garage as a guest room. I think the garage is huge.

  • Concerned Rob

    South facing glass with zero overhang in Tempe huh…Amazing what some architects can justify.

    • T

      For all the comments about the south facing glass etc…, please check your sun angles for this latitude and longitude and when you indeed want the sun into your spaces. One has to worry more about other exposures during the summer months, when the sun is situated not just where your textbooks tell you. Justification comes from building and understanding the real world and not just from a notion that the south is the worst exposure.

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  • Fudge

    I really like almost everything about this project, i just cant stomach the cinderblock walls. Would have been better to see a nice stone there or something instead.

    • Remus

      CMU = concrete masonry units.

      Wendell Burnett uses a similar palette in Arizona as well.
      Good use of scale. The corners are well dealt with. It would have been nice to see the panels to the top floor elevation fully rusted though.

      Nice job.

  • up_today_arch

    The empty suspended corner is really nice in this project.

  • Matty V

    Amazing design, and greatly patient photographer. Well done.

  • S.Jahangiri

    I agree with up_today_arch, the expression of that void is quite powerful…

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