Hidden Valley Desert House – Wendell Burnette Architects

General Information

  • Square Footage: 2,500 SF+/-
  • Bedrooms: 2+Studio or 3 with partition
  • Bathrooms: 2.5
  • Garage: 2 Car Garage
  • Area: Cave Creek/North Desert
  • Lot Size: 5 Acres +/-
  • Age: 2018
  • Architecture: Wendell Burnette Architects/Wendell Burnette FAIA
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Status:  Sold


Desert Modern Architecture: Located on a five-acre gently sloping rise in Cave Creek, the Hidden Valley Desert House is a “long pavilion for living” that commands the site. Designed by Wendell Burnette FAIA, this very special home offers superb materials, detailed construction and a unique plan to make it simply a masterwork of living design.

A seemingly straightforward design delights in detail and surprise: From ground level, the home is anchored on a solid plinth using stepped, local concrete masonry walls and an integrally colored concrete deck/slab rendered monolithic hand-applied plaster style coating. Above the plinth is a large shade canopy that appears to float across the mass, creating a comforting sense of shelter. The upper roof canopy offers a deep, mill-finish stainless steel fascia that screens photovoltaic solar panels and necessary mechanical, while echoing the landscape and sky.

On approach, you are guided up a concrete stepped path along the face of the home which is graced with a recirculating water system for an oasis-arrival in the desert.There is water featured on the west of the home with ponds, the east includes a fire-pit for cool desert nights. Solar orientation and photovoltaic panels make this home eco- friendly.

Generous Living is found here. The main level includes a sublime kitchen complete with a coffee nook for the espresso minded; opening to an outdoor gathering space for meals and more. The great room includes generous dining area and built in A/V wall. A more intimate space includes a fire feature and wine column which converts to a fully open outside patio-room. A hidden transition wall slides open to expose a private meditation room that shares a view of the Koi pond with the Owners Suite. The Owners Suite also opens to the outdoors keeping the bath and sinks secluded. A Japanese-style bath was master-crafted for traditional bathing which includes a wood soaking tub and hand made wooden sink.

The plan offers two bedrooms plus exercise studio, which is easily converted into a full 3rd private bedroom; with guest rooms on the lower level. The home includes integral cages built for the love of birds; a large and protected pet run keeps four legged friends safe.

Artfully sighted, the primarily south-facing home is surrounded by a forest of mature Saguaro, but the site offers unique ecology; a teddy bear cholla field to the east flourishing in a prominent outcrop of unique pinkish-red shale. The home is elevated perfectly to enjoy sweeping views from the distant Phoenix Valley to the south. Surrounding mountain ranges include the Continental Mountains to the east, which reflect the sunset sky.

Inside and out, the underside of the canopy uses a black theatrical fabric scrim that creates a continuous feeling of deep soft shade and void allowing them to always feel open. The lowest level of the home lives as a comforting shelter, the upper levels are continuously open to view and earth with doors and glazing that create a much larger living space than what’s conventionally under roof. When opened, there are often no discernible distinctions between inside and outside.

A subtly rich material palette is found throughout the home including “shadow reflective finishes” of cold-rolled mill finish steel, ebonized sustainable MDF (Medite), three different dark finishes of highly sustainable resin-infused paper (Richlite), colored felt wall panels layered beneath corrugated and perforated metal, as well as an integral color purple-black hand applied stucco walls with embedded vermiculite for texture. The Japanese concept of “Wabi-Sabi” was embraced though the design and allows for the celebration of both new and old, rich and diverse textures; smooth metal against ancient rock. Built to a high level of craft, this home is irreplaceable at this price.

We find this simple statement by the architect encapsulates the serenity and harmony of this home in perfect summary; the architect shares: “For our clients this house was about purging/simplifying their life and also about an indoor/outdoor house for their Birds, Koi, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and one cat and their very specific way of living”. We are certain that you’ll find this home to be a perfect definition of Desert Living.

Aerial Drone Footage

30 Seconds of Design Video

The Hidden Valley Desert Home is highly published: See Links Below.

The Coolector





  • Desert Modern Architecture
  • Exceptional Mountain locale in Cave Creek with sweeping views
  • 5 plus acre lot with a Saguaro Forest
  • Wendell Burnette FAIA designed
  • Sublime Kitchen with coffee nook
  • Hidden transition wall to a mediation space
  • Japanese-style wood soaking tub for traditional bathing
  • “Wabi-Sabi” design combining old and new
  • Mill finished stainless steel, integrally colored concrete
  • Animal sanctuaries and protective spaces for birds and dogs/cats
  • Floating and reflective shade canopies echo the sky
  • 2 bedrooms plus and exercise studio that converts to a 3rd bedroom
  • Photovoltaic solar panels adds an eco element
  • Recirculating water and Koi Ponds greet you


Scott Jarson – 480.254.7510

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