The Desert Courtyard House Preserves a Piece of Time

Wendell Burnette Architects designed the 'Desert Courtyard House' in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The home's site is a peninsula characterized by its granite outcroppings and Saguaro cacti. It is surrounded by a beautiful mountain vista that further dramatizes the stunning Arizona sunsets. The architects decided on a courtyard concept, as they were eager to preserve the "primordial desert landscape including an equally infinite piece of its indomitable sky." The design offers the client air, light, privacy and serenity.

The architects cast a plinth in a singular material throughout, a "highway concrete mix" that was combined with raw umber. The architects explain, "We wanted to work the surfaces of the plinth in order to reveal the composite qualities of the material, sand, conglomerate gravel, pebbles, broken stone, in a cement matrix and consequently, a window into the geologic time of this place."