Southwest Architecture

Pueblo Indian Influence in Southwest Architecture

Tucson And Southern Arizona Are A Showplace For Pueblo Revival Architecture.

southwest architecture pueblo revial architectureSouthwest architecture has many distinctive features. The area across the US Southwest is full of glowing examples of Pueblo Revival architecture.

The Pueblo Indians of the southwest weren’t the only influence on this type of architecture, but they were extremely important.

The Pueblo style was in interwoven with the Spanish who crossed the Atlantic and fell in love the region.

One common addition to the Pueblo design that shows the Spanish influence is the prevalence of iron doors.

Similar architecture can be found across a vast portion of the US Southwest and down into Northern Mexico.

Pueblo Revival architecture began in the early 1900s, becoming a popular trend throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Here is a brief description of some evident characteristics of this southwestern style of architecture, plus some beautiful buildings you can visit to see it firsthand.

Key Aspects of Southwest Architecture

The Pueblo Revival style of architecture is a gentle blend of the indigenous peoples of the region and their Spanish ancestors. You can explore examples of both influences combined in these buildings.

Once you understand the concepts of the Pueblo Revival architectural style, you can begin to appreciate which homes have it, or how you could add it to yours. Here’s a quick list of design features that are readily seen in this type of architecture.

Adobe –

southwest architecture adobe brickAdobe is probably the most glaring attribute of Pueblo Revival architecture. Bricks are formed from red adobe clay and sun-dried. Pueblo Indians used adobe to build their homes.

Even today, homes built with thick red clay bricks are prevalent throughout the southwest.

They also made direct use of different aspects of this brick-like material for cooking and water storage. Newer Arizona homes built to resemble the style use a stucco finish made to replicate adobe.

In modern-designs, thick walls are made to resemble the actual adobe built by the Pueblo Indians. Earth tones blend into the surround landscape colors, therefore these are the most common colors of homes and buildings using this style.

Wood Support –

viga beamsWood Support – The Pueblo Revival architecture uses a lot of wood. Beams spanning entire rooms are a telltale signature of this type of home. These large timbers are referred to as vigas. Vigas are frequently a foot thick and the ends of the beams are left exposed.

Many of the original Pueblo homes show evidence of this design feature. The beams stick through the walls and are visible from outside the home. It is not uncommon to see crude wooden ladders adjacent to a home.

During the latter part of the 12th century, a period when the Puebloan population increased in the area, they built multistory dwellings into the cliffs. To gain access to various levels; instead of staircases they simply used wooden ladders.

Flat Roofs –

Flat Roofs – While the exterior design of Pueblo Revival architecture predominately uses rounded corners, the roofs are flat. The flat roof tops may have a very slight slant to them and have an outside wall extending above the roof line.

These extensions were called parapets. Drainage openings were cut above the roof line. There is no indication of the actual reason for this unique wall design, other than possibly protection from enemies.

Pueblo Revival Style in Arizona

brophy prep collegeWhile this architectural style dominates a large portion of New Mexico, there are striking examples of Pueblo Revival architecture in homes and buildings across Arizona. Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix is a masterful example.

Numerous buildings on the campus reflect an obvious blend of both the Puebloan and Spanish influences on architecture in Arizona. The magnificent Brophy College Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are a number of architectural styles thought historic districts in both Phoenix and Tucson. Another enjoyable option for both entertainment as an example of Pueblo Revival architecture is the Painted Desert Inn.

Originally built as part of the Civilian Conservative Corps construction projects of the Great Depression, the Inn was finished in the late 1930s. The complex is located adjacent to Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona.

On the southern edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona is the famous Hopi House. The Hopi House is one of eight architectural masterpieces designed by world-renowned architect Mary Colter.

The building’s style is a reflection of the traditional Hopi Pueblo multilevel dwellings. Hopi House was completed in 1904 and is a perfect example of the lifestyle of the native inhabitants of the US Southwest.

Still Used Today

The Pueblo Revival style of architecture is still used today. Home builders and architects appreciate the perfect blend of the ancestral Pueblo design into the adjoining Arizona landscape.

Many of the finest homes in and around Arizona’s two largest cities have large courtyards. Tucson is #2, you can guess what city is the largest.

These outdoor areas were inherent to even the oldest native homes. The weather is hot, but the ability to be outside is a welcome opportunity that is year-round in Arizona.

These are examples of the architectural style engendered to southwestern culture. If you’re looking to purchase a home in Arizona, or remodel an existing home, visit any of these marvelous examples of Pueblo Revival architecture.

Guest Article by Jessica Kane

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