THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME
Based in Phoenix, but speaking to a truly international audience, Wendell Burnette Architects grounds its design philosophy in a process of “listening” - an active collaboration between the client, the design team, and the contractors to build spaces that are at once functional and poetic.
Wendell Burnette founded his architecture firm in 1996. He has almost 35 years of hands-on experience in both commercial and private designs. He studied at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture for three years and served as the co-designer, project architect, and field architect for the new Phoenix Central Library while employed with the design firm of William Bruder. He currently serves on the faculty of Arizona State University as professor of practice at the Design School.
Burnette has gained inspiration for his designs through extensive international travel. From his visits to various countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, he has assimilated a unique world perspective on architecture. His work has been featured in more than 150 publications worldwide. His designs have earned both local and national awards. Because of this success, Burnette is often called upon to give guest lectures, to teach, and to critique architecture designs at universities and at America Institute of Architecture (AIA) events.
At Wendell Burnette Architects, the team starts by examining nuances of space, light, context, and place before submitting a design. They take into account the landscape of the area, specific client needs, and budget resources to deliver visually engaging spaces that seamlessly suit their locations while still delivering the functionality requested by the client.
If you live in Phoenix, you've no doubt noticed the stunning architecture of several public buildings and private homes designed by this award-winning firm. Scattered across the city, notable examples include the St. Francis Restaurant, Scottsdale Teen Center, Palo Verde Library, and Maryvale Community Center, among many others.
WHY WE LOVE WENDELL BURNETTE ARCHITECTS
We’re fortunate to enjoy a very close relationship with Wendell Burnette. Wendell owns the building that For The People recently moved in to and has been absolutely wonderful in supporting our visions for the store.
But Wendell isn’t just a great landlord and good friend; he’s also an outstanding architect. We are constantly amazed by the genius and quality of Wendell’s work in architecture and design. It continues to inspire us to this day.
We are also pleased to announce that Wendell’s new book, Dialogues in Space, is available for sale right here in our store. Every page of this thick volume is a work of art - we find ourselves flipping through it frequently.
Some of the architectural wonders you can expect to find in Wendell’s book include:
The Dialogue House - a true study of the use of light in architecture. Nestled at the base of the Echo Mountains, this 2,200 square foot house projects two volumes of light, one warm and the other cool, to focus the eye on the vast horizon and the endless desert sky. Burnette was inspired toward this end by The Desert – Further Studies in Natural Appearances, a book written by John Van Dyke in 1907. The book examines Van Dyke's fascination with desert light, which he described as "colored air" and "reflected light." Burnette's house represents these concepts with deep charcoal masonry and vast expanses of windows.
The Desert Courtyard House - nearly hidden behind a long private driveway and spatterings of ocotillos and saguaros. The low walls of this house are made from concrete and dark soil excavated from the site, effortlessly melding the structure with its desert surroundings. By day those outer walls surround an airy, light-filled courtyard effortlessly wrapped with unending panes of glass. By night, the glass seems to disappear, giving way to the blending of the steel plate ceilings with the dark desert sky. As viewed from above, the weathered steel roof shrouds the house deep into the desert shadows.
The Amangiri Resort and Spa - awarded a “Best Retreat” nod from Wallpaper* magazine in 2010 for Burnette’s collaboration with three other architects on this project. The stunning 600-acre resort is situated in southern Utah and was commissioned by international hotelier, Adrian Zecha. Zecha's Aman Resorts have upped the ante for luxury accommodations in spectacular locales. The Utah resort incorporates earth tones, natural rock formations, and low profile buildings to seamlessly blend into the desert surroundings.
COME SEE FOR YOURSELF
Dialogues in Space is the first book to catalog the selective works of Wendell Burnette. The title refers to his philosophy that architecture is a mix of conversation between people, things, and time. Six different projects are highlighted in the 600-plus page book - pages filled with stunning color photography, drawings, notes, and an in-depth essay on Burnette's work by noted architectural critic and writer, Robert McCarter. The book delves into Burnette's creative process of exploring the human experience through thought-provoking structures that attempt to connect with our time, environment, and communities.
You can find the book here on-site at For The People. So come on by, pull up a chair, and treat yourself to a sincerely inspiring experience. We can’t wait to meet you!