Desert Courtyard House

Set in the Sonoran Desert outside Scottsdale, AZ lies the dramatic Desert Courtyard House. The architects and designers at Phoenix-based Wendell Burnette Architects sought to create an oasis within the unforgiving desert landscape.

The team describes the home as a plinth - a mass of stone punctuated and hollowed out that combines interior features and exterior surroundings. “Mass and the improbability of delicacy discovered within, is what gives the Sonoran Desert its remarkable presence.”

While the walls - fabricated from concrete and soil - resemble a massive boulder, the interior is more delicate and transparent, with a curtain wall to offer views of the inner courtyard, reflecting qualities universally desired in a home - air, light, privacy, security, and tranquility.

“As our clients and their guests move from the mass of this landform into our Engawa, we hope they will always rediscover with a hint of surprise the preciousness of things.”