Architecture and Design

The Ranch Mine: 2015 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Design

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See also: Leonor Aispuro: 2015 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Design

Previous owners had modified the home, adding walls and extra bedrooms. It was the Costellos' mission to unearth the architect's vision while extrapolating design concepts to modernize the 1981 house. It's a way of thinking they've brought to other residential projects, which include homes designed by Bennie Gonzalez, Ralph Haver, Al Beadle, and Charles and Arthur Schreiber, a who's who list of Phoenix's mid-century architects.

"If we're not slightly scared," Cavin says, "we're not doing anything interesting and new."

A mutual friend introduced the two in 2009, when Claire recently had returned to her native Phoenix after studying English and communications at the University of Colorado. A fan of architects Richard Neutra and Will Bruder, Cavin moved to Arizona from Connecticut after getting his master's in architecture. They were looking for work in real estate and design, respectively, but Great Recession-era jobs in the housing market were tough to come by. So they got creative and started the Ranch Mine in late 2010 as a side business.

Remodeling their own Arcadia ranch was their first project. Blending industrial elements with clean lines, their budget-friendly bathroom got attention from the Arizona Republic, which published photos of the space and interviewed the duo about their DIY endeavor.

Soon after, inquiries began rolling in. And the Ranch Mine took off.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski