ICONIC LIFE had the pleasure of speaking with architect Brent Kendle about his pursuit of luxury, modern house design that speaks to people’s hearts and souls, inspired by the natural beauty of the land on which it sits, and have featured his work before.
Kendle Design Collaborative prides itself on designing homes with unique visual delights around every corner and in every detail, a concept referred to as “living architecture.” These features often change with the passing of the sun or the changing of the seasons, creating an ever-changing natural tapestry.
We look for the piece of land to tell us what kind of home wants to be on this lot.
“We’re all about nature, views of nature, and surrounding our clients and ourselves with nature,” Kendle said. “We’re modernists at heart, so every decision we make has at least one, if not two or three, reasons behind it. We look for those influences. We look for the piece of land to tell us what kind of home wants to be on this lot.”
One of his projects, the Bridge View Residence, is a prime example of this, seamlessly embracing the natural Arizona desert into modern home design. A huge desert wash runs through the property, which could be a turn-off for many people. However, Kendle viewed the wash as free, kinetic art, with animals running through and rain running down into it.
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The Bridge View Residence is an “upside down” house, with the main living spaces occupying the upper floor, giving the master bedroom, kitchen and living rooms endless views of the valley and surrounding mountains.
“You can sit there and look down to the wash and just see nothing but nature. All the houses are pushed to the side, and it gives you a view corridor to the Valley below,” Kendle said.
Kendle explained the home has interlocking spaces inside, as well as outdoor interlocking spaces that go under the house and through it. Cantilevered roofs and second story balconies provide essential shade for the lower level and add to the functional modern design of the house. For instance, the shaded space underneath the master bedroom is great for those hot summer days spent in the pool.
“We tried to create ways of filtering the air through those outdoor spaces, as well as these indoor spaces, with the sliding doors and whatnot, extending the season of not having to turn the air conditioning on a little bit longer,” Kendle said.
Additional measures were taken to use modern design to help the house combat the desert heat, such as creating solid, curved block walls with recessed openings to limit western sun exposure.
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When it comes to interior design, Kendle does not see where the architecture stops, and the interior starts.
When it comes to interior design, Kendle does not see where the architecture stops, and the interior starts. He views it as a collaborative process, stating, “If you’re not designing the lighting, and you’re just leaving that up to somebody else, or you’re just designing the shell and then letting your interior designer design the lighting, in my mind, you haven’t created architecture.”
Kendle made sure that his working relationship with Elizabeth Rosensteel, the interior designer for this project, had this same collaborative aspect, even as he stepped into the home later in the process. He and his team made sure her opinion was heard and valued because the modern design of this home, Kendle stated, was crafted, not built, sitting at a level higher of expertise than a general custom build. Every detail mattered.
“It’s like cars. You can buy a Chevy, or you can buy a Ferrari. They’re both nice cars, but some people appreciate the difference in the one, and it takes 300 percent more effort to create that 20 percent difference in the Ferrari,” Kendle said. “People strive to that kind of level of excellence. People want to own something like that. So I think that’s what we try to do.”