Desert oasis

Water and walls help show off greenery

Lauren Bonar Swezey

Paradise Valley, AZ. Old homes are often bulldozed to make way for large estates. But Andrea and Thomas Kotoske chose a more modest approach for their remodel so they could devote plenty of real estate to outdoor living.

Several of the house's walls slide open to fan-cooled terraces. Brightly colored walls and contemporary water features are bold backdrops for desert plants. Large palo verde trees shade the roof and interior rooms, reducing air-conditioning needs. "A masterful juxtaposition of architecture and plants," said a juror.

DESIGN: Steve Martino & Associates, Phoenix (

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