What Makes Arizona A Mecca For Modern Architecture



For husband-and-wife architects Thamarit Suchart and Patricia Szu-Ping Chen, Arizona offers more than just beautiful sunsets. Here, Chen says, people are open to new ideas, and the duo has plenty of those. They met while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, but moved back to Suchart’s home state (Chen is from Taiwan) in 2002. Today, they are working on a variety of projects—a tasting room at an Elgin winery, a multifamily residence, their own custom home—but took a break to chat with Luxe about modern design in Arizona.

What makes Arizona a great place for contemporary architecture? TS: There’s a certain architectural freedom that exists here because you’re not limited by an existing design language. We don’t do facsimiles of some bygone era. We’re interested in the now. 

Share your latest go-to materials. TS: Concrete, steel and glass. The latest thing that we’re thinking a lot more about is the actual quality of the building. A custom home can be exponentially better with energy efficiencies and air filtration. 

Describe your dream project. PSC: A preschool or an elementary school. These are spaces where kids spend eight hours a day. TS: Plus, we’d love to design a hotel in a setting where it’s really about the location and the architecture can focus on bringing that experience to the forefront.