We’re Expanding!

We are pleased to announce our newest Marketing and Administrative Assistant: Caitlin Jackson! Between her seven years of administrative background and her multiple degrees (AA in Fine Art from Scottsdale Community College & BS in Sustainability with a minor in Landscape Architecture from Arizona State University), we know she will be a valuable addition to our team.

If you are wanting to be a part of Urban Design Associates, you’re in luck! We are currently looking to fill a full-time architect/project manager position. The ideal candidate will be a licensed architect or architectural graduate with 10+ years of residential construction field experience. This position is responsible for overall project management for a variety of projects including technical design development, construction document production and coordination, consultant scheduling, and budgeting.

Besides working with an award winning firm, we offer competitive hourly wages and generous benefits including health care and continuing education. We strive to provide a fun yet productive environment for our employees to enhance their professional and personal growth. At UDA, we are more than an architecture firm, we are a family.

uda-team-500

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Prepare to be Summer-ized!

unsplash-sai-kiran-anagani-209542-375It’s official, summer has arrived! Our days of big jackets and snow are behind us, and the season of swimming and barbeques is here. This is great news for everyone but, if you are a homeowner, there are a few more things you need to do besides buy a new bikini. Between the relentless heat and impending monsoon season, you have to ensure your home is in tip-top shape.

1. Test/Update your AC Unit & Thermostat
Now is the time to test your AC unit, since it is better to fix any issues before the temperature sky rockets. If your unit is 10-15 years old, you should consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient, dependable model.

While you are at it, installing a programmable or smart thermostat is also a great way to save energy and money in the long run.

2. Inspect your Roof & Clean/Repair Your Gutters
You don’t want to be hit with surprise leaks or water damage, so take the time to remove debris and fix anything not in working condition.

3. Seal all Windows & Doors
During the winter, it is common for windows and doors to slightly separate from their frames. Sealing these gaps will keep your cool air in and the hot air OUT.

4. Create a Bug Barrier
A lot of bugs hibernate during the winter months, but are quite active in the summer. Besides making sure there aren’t any gaps or cracks for them to enter, consider spraying your outdoor perimeter with a pesticide or natural repellent.

5. Don’t Forget your Garden!
The sun is also tough on your plants, so do everything you can to keep the soil moist. The best option is to install a drip irrigation system on a timer.

6. Prep your Outdoor Living Spaces
It’s not all about staying cool and saving energy. You also have to get ready for all the summer fun you are about to have. Clean your grill, pool and patio furniture so they are ready-to-go for any spontaneous get-togethers. Maybe even add some bright colored pillows or outdoor rug to bump up the décor. Remember to create outdoor storage to stash decor during desert monsoons and dust storms.

7. Remember the Little Things
There are other little things you can do around your house to help you stay cool and reduce your electricity bill. For instance, changing your air filters monthly prevents the restriction of airflow and changing the direction of your fan causes a cool breeze effect. Now might also be a good time to change any of your older bulbs to CFLs. Since they waste less energy on heat, they help keep your home cooler.

8. Contact your HOA
Check with your Home Owner Association about service companies to take care of your property, while you escape the summer heat.

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The Joy is in the Details

Recently we have noticed the trend toward “right-sizing,” “down-sizing,” and “lock and leave” homes has become more the rule.  Many architects and designers would agree that the more challenging, more engaging project, is not necessarily the seemingly complex larger ones.  I LOVE the smaller projects; we call them “jewel box” architecture.  Every detail counts, every inch counts.  They take both restraint and creativity on a different level.

The key to making the small move extraordinary is balance and contrast in geometry, color, or texture.  Below are some images from our smaller, infill projects, mostly remodels that all have an intimate yet glamorous, important feeling.

So do not think, oh this project is too small, or not interesting enough for an architect or a design.  Propose the challenge and I bet you will LOVE what you get in return.

Living Room Fireplace TV kk Courtyard Trellis kk Bliss Private Patio
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Bliss Powder Room 143K7968 143K3480

 

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Lee is an Icon

We always knew it was true, Lee is an Icon, but it was fantastic to be recognized by the Design and Building Industry leaders to make it official.  Sources for Design is a digital magazine making waves in the Arizona Luxury Construction field.  Each issue features 7 industry Icons: project, architect, interior designer, builder, landscape architect, product, and service.  This fourth issue puts Lee in great company with the architectural Icons: Eddie Jones, Vern Swaback, and Michael Johnson.

Lee was recognized for creating a style of architecture all his own “Organic Pueblo,” a term he also coined.  His deep understanding of the Southwest’s light, landforms, and lifestyle show up in every home.  His compassion for his clients and his passion to create beauty continue to manifest in spaces designed for renewal and joyful celebration.

On April 6, 2017 the design community came together for the launch of issue 4 and to congratulate the new class of Icons.  Larry Lake, the magazine’s publisher and local interior designer, created a warm, entertaining evening of indoor/outdoor festivities at Fergusons in Scottsdale.  Each guest was given an autograph book and the perfect “in” to go meet the Icons while collecting signatures.  Urban Design Associates staff, colleagues, past and present clients all gathered to give Lee some extra love for his long standing, successful, and inspiring body of architectural work.  Take a look at Sources for Design Issue 4: http://sourcesfordesign.com/issue4

 lee-icon-290

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Amazing home

April-First-Post

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Spring in the Valley of the Sun

Spring in desert is one of the most beautiful times of the year!  The weather is perfect for outdoor events and the flowers are all in bloom (without the April showers).  We have compiled some of the events we are looking forward to this month.  Take a look and we hope to see you around town.

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spring1

spring1

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Education In Practice

Our team at Urban Design is always looking to further the education of our staff, our clients, and our community on the value that architecture has in our world.  We do this in many ways from staff and client field trips, as a member of ARA (Arizona Residential Architects), sponsoring employee education, in office training, to working with Architecture In Schools, and donating to Free Arts of Arizona.  We truly believe that the creation of beautiful places elevates the human condition and can inspire everyday life. So while staying on top of the newest and greatest architectural products and technologies out there is a top priority, to bring the best to our clients, celebrating the art of architecture and sharing the joy of creating living spaces is our true calling.  We are planning a series of educational community events and polishing up a webinar, keep an eye out for more updates!

education field trip

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Dream Home Sites Are Available

It is coming to the end of High Season here in the Valley, and while a deal can always be struck, many of the available lots go off the market for the summer.  We have partnered with a few of the top realtors to come up with preliminary designs for some of the “hidden gem” lots in the best neighborhoods of North Scottsdale.  We are happy to walk lots with potential clients to make sure you find the perfect place to start your dream home.  These plans are a great starting point, but always very customizable!  Give us a call to schedule a site tour!

    dream home newsletter image and 1 plan Mirabel Lot 94 Site Plan Option 2     dream home 2

 dream home 3

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Architectural Styles

Urban Design Associates is known for integrating many styles of architecture to fit our client’s personalities. We can work in ultra-contemporary to Lee’s signature style “organic pueblo” to traditional European or mix them all together!

The key element for us is to listen; listen to our clients and listen to the land to create a space that was meant to be, perfectly in its location. We start with the function of the floor plan and develop style. Our designs are characterized as living spaces that flow effortlessly between indoors and outdoors using local materials in unusual ways.

Right now we have an eclectic collection of work on our drawing boards – just the way we like it! If you are trying to narrow your style into words please click here for our photo dictionary of architectural terms.

ultra modern organic pueblo mountain contemporary

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Dream Home Sites Available

It is coming to the end of High Season here in the Valley, and while a deal can always be struck, many of the available lots go off the market for the summer.  We have partnered with a few of the top realtors to come up with preliminary designs for some of the “hidden gem” lots in the best neighborhoods of North Scottsdale.  We are happy to walk lots with potential clients to make sure you find the perfect place to start your dream home.  These plans are a great starting point, but always very customizable!  Give us a call to schedule a site tour!

Desert Mountain

 

Desert Mountain

 

Desert Mountain

 

 

 

Desert Mountain

 

 

 

 

Desert Mountain

 

 

 

Desert Mountain

 

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In progress. On site!

site

Here is the latest UDA project going up in Whisper Rock. It was a rainy spring day, perfect for a site visit! The slabs are poured, now the framing is going up – our favorite stage of construction! There is some great boulder work and a huge, gorgeous cactus specimen already in place. The team at R-Net Custom is doing a fantastic job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inspired Artistry You Call Home

 

Rhino Scottsdale Book Cover UDA

We are so happy to be featured not once but three times on the new coffee table book “Scottsdale, A Great Place to Live”! We have two of Lee’s signature organic pueblo homes that showcase indoor/ outdoor desert living included and one of our favorite ultra-contemporary homes highlighted. No matter your preferred architectural style, Urban Design Associates can create a home of your dreams perfectly suited to your building site in the desert, the mountains, or the city.

 

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UDA on Houzz

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Property for Sale

There is a great property for sale in Estancia with a great set of plans!  Give Realtor Dave Patterson a call 623-476-5005.

And check out the 3d model here: http://urbandesignassociatesltd.com/boards-estancia-leed/

Back Rendering Carter Res

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Press Update!

Urban Design is happy to update our press page with a new magazine cover.  Lee Hutchison, AIA, and Jessica Hutchison-Rough, AIA, are profiled in the August/ September of locally produced “Cowgirl Magazine”.  The publisher is a former happy UDA client!  Thanks Ken for the great piece and for including our associate Paula DenBoer of Ashley P. Designs.

http://urbandesignassociatesltd.com/press/

 

Cowgirl August 2014-1post sunset view

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New Projects Online!

We have two great new projects featured in our online photo galleries!  Take a look at Organic – Desert Highlands and Traditional – Sagauro Forest.

http://urbandesignassociatesltd.com/organic-desert-highlands-iv

http://urbandesignassociatesltd.com/saguaro-forest-vii

Courtyard Entry

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Mountain Living – Pine Canyon Style

It is that time of year again, things are heating up in the Valley of the Sun!  The locals are heading north.  Urban Design has done work in the White Mountains, Sedona, Forest Highlands and Pine Canyon, Flagstaff.  We participated in an Open House Event for Pine Canyon to create some imagery for their new phase that is opening up.  There are great new lots available!  We did a fantastic plan for a spectacular golf course view lot.  If you are interested in a tour of our north country work or want to go look at a lot give us a call and we will meet you in cool Flagstaff!

Pine Canyon lot 332

Preliminary Site Plan

 

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The Pinnacle of Pinnacle Peak

 

We recently revisited one of our homes, previously published by Phoenix Home and Garden magazine, to see if we could capture some of this extraordinary spring in the context of this home.  This client’s home embodies the true depiction of our desert indoor/outdoor lifestyle.  The home has been sited to have perfectly framed views of Pinnacle Peak from the main living area.  Deep patio overhangs were designed to protect the interior from heat and damaging rays from our almost constant sun.  This home is so inviting to entertaining an intimate group of friends or family to much larger parties. The open layout of the house accommodates any lifestyle.

 

Please view a sample of our photo shoot of this versatile home.

hertz pictures

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The Gold List

gold list home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gold list home

 

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Indoor Outdoor Living

One of the joys of living in the Arizona desert is the dry warm weather and the opportunity to move life outside for most of the year.  The indoor/ outdoor lifestyle has brought us many visitors that end up staying here in the Sonoran Desert.  There are a few key design elements that are essential to creating the perfect indoor/ outdoor home that Urban Design has perfected through experience.

The first step is to understand the site and the climate.  This is where Lee Hutchison and the UDA team have excelled.  With over 35 years of practicing architecture and 50 years of living in the Valley of the Sun, there are not many places left unexplored by the adventurous architect.  He spends time out on sites observing the sun, wind, and topography.  Once all this information is gathered, it is expertly translated into the perfect site planning of UDA homes.

After the home is sited to capture the best sun orientation, local breezes, and views the internal rooms can be located within the floor plan to create the perfect flow of space from inside to outside.  The trend to have open floor plans with great rooms that incorporate kitchen, dining, and living has become the standard.  This type of room arrangement works well when creating large open spaces to the outdoors.  Once the relationships between rooms are established these seemingly simple steps should be taken:

  1. Create an opening, preferably a very large opening
  2. Cover the exterior space, taking the ceiling plane outside
  3. Extend the floor surface, using the same material with as little interruption as possible
  4.  Use the view to draw you outside

There is an art to indoor/ outdoor lifestyle design that is best done with careful examination of both the environment and the home owner’s daily routine.  While a well designed house should be remarkably beautiful, the daily functionality is what will make it truly a home.

indoor outdoor photos

 

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