I have had the great pleasure of finding myself in the Southwestern U.S. this year not once but twice. The geography, culture and style are completely unique from any other region in the U.S. and are immediately identifiable upon first site. As with most places that can trace their history back centuries, the style and architecture are a product of their people's need and surrounding environment. The heat, lack of water and sourcing of local materials are what determined how the structures in the region would look.
The Southwestern architecture and style are soothing and authentic. The adobe walls, soft/muted earth tones, brick, casement windows, long/narrow porches, rough-hewn woods, ironwork and cactus all symbolize typical details found in Southwestern design. This Southwestern style is a combination of the Spanish and Native American who lived in the area and has morphed and blended to create several different definitive styles:
- Pueblo Revival- adobe style, flat roof, wooden beams.
- Mission Revival- adobe style, white walls, courtyards, low-pitched clay tile roof, long arcades.
- Spanish Colonial- smooth plaster wall and chimney finishes, low-pitched clay tile roof or flat roofs, and terracotta or cast concrete ornaments, iron trim.
- Contemporary Southwest- is a mix of all the regional styles sometimes with updated materials.
Here are some of the photos I snapped in Arizona of the architecture and style elements used by its residents:
Iron sculpture in a courtyard in Old Town Scottsdale, AZ. Notice the ironwork on the doors and the white stucco walls.