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Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

Photo by Bill Timmerman
all images courtesy of Wendell BurnetteArchitects

Located on a rural site in the sonoran desert outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, Wendell Burnette architects has designed and completed a house shaped around a central courtyard. The scheme seeks to blend with the exterior environment, and provide views of the context’s scenery, Containing granite outcroppings and towering saguaro cacti. these elements, along with carefully selected materials, are incorporated into the residence to maintain the site’s sense of place. the structure is conceived as a ‘plinth’ elevated above the landscape, which is composed as a continuous mass that is hollowed, faceted, and broken to create a sequence of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

A ontinuous earth and concrete mass wraps around the residence’s courtyard. Photo by Bill Timmerman

The courtyard arrangement provides multiple aspects of comfort for the residence, including air, light, privacy, security, and tranquility. The outdoor area is occupied by granite boulders and local vegetation, while complemented by stone patios and an elongated pool of water. The interiors feature large glass walls on the internal side, with multiple sliding doors to link spaces directly with the exterior. Additionally, a glass floor through a main walkway reveals the desert topography below.

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

Photo by Bill Timmerman

The residence is enclosed by monolithic floors and walls, made of concrete and earthen material and partially clad in weathering bronze panels. After soil sample testing, the design team discovered the land removed during the project’s excavation could be used in the structure’s rammed earth walls. this strategy allowed for reduced material transport to the site.

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

Towering saguaro cacti surround the desert site. Photo by Bill Timmerman

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

Large glass doors slide away to link indoor and outdoor spaces. Photo by Bill Timmerman

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

An elongated pond stretches outward from the courtyard. Photo by Bill Timmerman

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

Glass curtain walls allow for full transparency of the desert environment. Photo by Bill Timmerman

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

A glass floor reveals the topography below. Photo by Bill Timmerman

Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects
Courtyard house in Arizona by Wendell Burnette Architects

Granite boulders and desert plants occupy the center of the courtyard. Photo by Bill Timmerman - Source: designboom.com

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