Wendell Burnette (10 March 1962) is a self-taught architect from Nashville, Tennessee. In 1996 he founded Wendell Burnette Architects, an internationally recognized architectural practice based in Phoenix, Arizona. The specific focus of the practice is concerned with space and light, context and place, and with the environment and landscapes in which we live. Wendell Burnette Architects’ design philosophy is grounded in listening and distilling the very essence of a project to create highly specific architecture that is at once functional and poetic. Their design approach is to listen to all aspects of a particular building program and develop a consensus of approach with client, design team members, and potential contractors.

Through the integration of this process, Wendell Burnette Architects delivers architecture that is both uniquely appropriate and timelessly valuable to the client and/or user. Projects include custom residences located locally and nationally, public commissions in the community such as the Palo Verde Library / Maryvale Community Center, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and the Scottsdale Teen Center, and Resorts/Spas worldwide including the much acclaimed Amangiri Resort*.

Hidden Valley Desert House

Arizona, USA

This small humble house sited on a south-facing desert slope extends a prominent flow of pinkish-red schist-shale into a simple elevated plinth that parallels the contours of the site, which run east-west. Hovering above the plinth is a large shade canopy that embodies the necessary sustenance for this shelter as a home. The thickened canopy will harvest the majority of the energy and some of the water needed for a carbon neutral house.

Photography: Bill Timmerman

Amangiri Resort

Canyon Point, Utah, USA

The Amangiri Resort and Spa, located on a spectacular 600+ acre site in southern Utah, is a unique collaboration between three well-established architects: Marwan Al-Sayed, Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy. The three architects were inspired to work together on an awe-inspiring site, which has redefined the concept of travel and luxury in remarkable sites. The architects have created a bold yet responsive settlement that both honors and celebrates the magic and mystery of southern Utah’s majestic cliffs and rock formations.

Photography: Joe Fletcher

Burnette Residence

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

The house is an extension of the desert garden conceived as an architecture that is in and of the greater landscape. Its rooms edit the surrounding context such that connections are explicitly made to the sensory experiences of our natural world. An unapologetic form extends an existing ubiquitous road scar up as a man-made canyon, touching only the site that was previously disturbed. One can drive or walk into the form – moving up and into an in-between space that connects the severed garden and makes it whole.

Photography: Bill Timmerman

Desert Courtyard House

Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Constructed from soil excavated from the site, the house is a mass of concrete and rammed earth walls that meet the sky without termination. The battered walls envelop and protect conditioned spaces that surround a central courtyard. During the daytime, the courtyard is defined by a continuous ribbon of glass, the desert floor and sky. At night, the glass dissolves and the steel plate ceiling of the interior spaces merges with the dark sky.

Photography: Bill Timmerman

Palo Verde Library / Maryvale Community Center

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Designed by Gould Evans in association with Wendell Burnette Architects, the Palo Verde Library and Maryvale Community Center is a multi-use facility that includes a large public library collection area, a 150-seat auditorium for recital, drama and public lectures, and a community center that includes a park, pool, basketball courts, running track, and gym.  The design intention was to discover a way to maintain the existing recreational park all the while providing a building that energized the surrounding community.

Photography: Bill Timmerman

Source: wendellburnettearchitects.com

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