Wendell Burnette: 
Dialogues in Space

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Wendell Burnette is a self-taught architect with an internationally recognized body of work. His architectural practice based in Phoenix and is engaged in a wide range of private and public projects. Burnette’s work is concerned with space, light, context and community. He is a native of Nashville who discovered the southwest desert as an apprentice at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. His eleven year association with the studio of Will Bruder culminated in six-year design collaboration on the Phoenix Central Library. He teaches and lectures widely in the United States and abroad. His projects include residences located locally and nationally, the Palo Verde Library / Maryvale Community Center and the much acclaimed Amangiri Resort in southern Utah, as well as current work in China, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The work of Wendell Burnette has been published in more than 200 publications worldwide and has earned numerous distinctions for Design Excellence, including a 1990 Young Architects Award from PA magazine, a 1999 “Emerging Voices Award” from the Architectural League of New York, three “Record House” awards from Architectural Record magazine, over 10 AIA Arizona and AIA Western Mountain Region design awards, as well as one National AIA award and one National AIA / ALA Design Award for the Palo Verde Library / Maryvale Community Center. In 2009, Burnette received the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City recognizing an American Architect whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction, which was accompanied by an exhibition at the Academy in the same year. Most recently, his first full-length monograph Dialogues in Space by Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers was released worldwide. His design philosophy is grounded in listening and distilling the essence of a project to create highly specific architecture that is at once functional and poetic.

“Wendell Burnette is a very American architect. His character strikes us as being somewhere between Woody Guthrie and Will Rogers. He does not come from an academic world, or one that is grounded in theory. Rather, his work is developed from the real and sometimes rude work of thinking about how to make things. That is to say that he brings honesty, a lack of pretension, and a sense of forthright directness to his work.”  -Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

New monograph: Dialogues in Space: Wendell Burnette Architects

Dialogues in Space: Process and Ideas in the work of Wendell Burnette Architects is the first multi-project monograph on this American architects selective body of work. The title alludes to the architects view that architecture is a constructed conversation between people, things and time. Six singular projects from the architects oeuvre are presented in-depth through the architects' own words, drawings and photography. Also included is a comprehensive essay by the celebrated architectural writer / critic Robert McCarter entitled Crafting Space: Composition and Construction in the Architecture of Wendell Burnette that examines the “thinking and making” process behind the built and un-built work across 15 years of practice. The different typologies of the work explores authentic human experience through provocative spatial constructions - public and private in diverse locales - that attempt to promote an expansive dialogue with our places, our environment, our communities, ourselves, and our time. Through extensive research into the ‘art of building' – the specificity of place and locally appropriate construction systems, materials, craft, and their infinite capacity to transcend mere construction, the work strives toward an architecture that is at once functional and poetic.