MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: PHX Architecture
PHX Architecture is a firm based in Scottsdale and Beverly Hills, led by founder and President, Erik Peterson. Erik completed his Master’s degree at Arizona State University and has worked at the prestigious offices of Terry Farrell in London and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Architects here in Scottsdale.
With impressive lifestyle projects including bespoke residential, golf clubhouse, distinctive dining, and a number of resorts – PHX Architecture has certainly made a distinctive mark on Arizona.
Photo: Schultz Digital
Q & A
Erik Peterson, President
Q: Tell us a bit about the process a client goes through when working with you and your team?
A: So our process is one of the many aspects of our firm that I feel most proud about. We call it the PHX Process – and our goal with each and every client is to treat them like family. The minute they walk in our doors, we are here to listen to them, to collaborate with them, and to make sure they know we believe in their dream as much as they do. Especially homeowners. Building a custom home is a big deal, and often times it is a life goal that they have been anxiously working towards, so usually, there are a bit of nerves. We want to make sure our clients feel at ease when they are talking to us and know that we have their best interest at heart – and that means designing a home that fits their lifestyle and their personal tastes. PHX prides itself on making the client’s journey as tailor-made and custom as our projects – to be dependable and to push the envelope creatively when necessary to give our clients an innovative and timeless place to call home. You can check out more about the PHX process and the specific stages of the design process on our website at phxarch.com.
Q: You are working on a number of impressive projects, one of which is the Arizona Biltmore renovation. We understand you had an internship with Taliesin Architects early in your career where you worked on original Frank Lloyd Wright designs, which likely makes the Biltmore project very special. Can you tell us a bit about your approach to the design and preservation of this historic property and what aspect you’re most excited about?
A: You are very correct, this project is special to me not only because it was an original Wright-inspired design, but also because it is a monumental piece of Arizona’s history. An icon in its own right, the resort has so many stories and history tied to it – it has been an immense privilege and opportunity for myself and the entire design team to have the opportunity to re-imagine the resort, giving it new life and showcase several of the spaces in a new light. People are really going to love the finished project – we can’t wait for people to see it.
As for my favorite aspect, that’s a tough one. I would have to say the lobby and bar. The design pays homage to the resort’s famous history but also showcases a modernized aesthetic that’s going to be very popular with resort guests and native Arizonans. Additionally – the event lawn. Wait until you see it – there are going to be some incredible events that take place in the outdoor space. It provides the perfect setting for a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.
Q: What do you love about living and working here in the Valley?
A: What’s not to love about Arizona? I immediately fell in love with the lifestyle out here when trying to figure out where I wanted to land and begin my career after growing up and going to undergrad in the Midwest. To this day I still love everything about this state – the weather, the restaurants, the people. Every day feels like you are on a vacation – and the desert landscape is so breathtaking and unique. Look at how many people have moved here over the past year – living here is easy and allows for a great lifestyle.
Photo: Schultz Digital
Q: We see you marked a special birthday with a self-published book “50 In 50” recapping the top 50 Silverleaf residential design your firm has completed over the years. Can you share a bit about your vision for the book and how you showcased each project?
A: This project was very special to me. The premise behind the book came about as a celebration of turning the big 5-0, while also simultaneously achieving the accomplishment of designing my 50th home in Silverleaf – one of Arizona’s most prominent golf, luxury living communities. The book is really a passion project that we worked on for almost a year, leading up to its recent release in January of this year. The book chronicles all 50 homes that I have had the unique privilege to design – including homes that are currently in the beginning design phases as well as under construction. Throughout the book, we juxtapose a colored rendering on one page and then the final professional photo of the completed home on the other – giving readers a glimpse into how a PHX Arch home comes to life. We also included the design team on each project, none of the homes in the book would have been possible without the incredible collaboration between design team members and our incredible clients.
Q: What are some of your local favorites?
A: There are so many to choose from! Hands down my favorite places to eat around the Valley are Pomo Pizzeria in Scottsdale, I find myself craving STROZZAPRETI SALSICCIA pasta, and BUFALA VERACE pizza – as well as Mastro’s Ocean Club, when I want a more formal dining experience. I am a creature of habit and order the same menu of filet, chop salad, and baked potato, and of course the butter cake. Favorite places to shop – my favorite go-to’s are Hugo Boss, I wear their clothes almost exclusively as well as Suit Supply on Scottsdale Rd. Recreation activities – I love rooting on my Chicago Cubs when they are in town for Spring training. I have already had the opportunity to go to a couple of games this year – and it brings back all the good memories from growing up in Chicago.
Q: You and your firm are very involved in the community. Can you share the local organizations you support and why?
A: It has always been a top priority of my firm to make sure we give back to the community that has given us so much love and support over the years. Every year – we participate in a community day as a firm, where we get out of the office for a couple of hours and help out with various non-profits throughout the Valley. In the past, we have partnered with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, City of Scottsdale’s Operation Fix It program, Saving Amy, and others. We are also huge supporters of the Scottsdale Arts as well as Arizona Opera where I sit on their boards respectively. We also have partnered with Arizona State University over the past couple of years – to provide a scholarship to a very deserving Design major. It is always a great experience meeting and supporting the next generation of design leaders!
Q: In addition to your involvement with community organizations, you also offer your own Summer Camp for students with an interest in pursuing Architecture in college. Can you share the inspiration behind the camp and/or what has been the most rewarding part?
A: Absolutely. Great timing as well – as we just announced our dates for what will be our 12th Annual PHX Architecture Summer Camp this June. Our Summer Camp initially came to be during the 2008 recession. A lot of Architecture firms, if not all were struggling to find new clients, so in order to bring in some additional revenue as well as stimulate our staff at the time – we decided a Summer Camp would be an incredible chance not only to teach the next generation of Architects but to also give our staff a fun outlet to be creative and enjoy teaching the kids about a day in the life of being an Architect. Fast forward to 2021 – we have grown the camp to be recognized valley-wide as one of the top Architecture camps for kids interested in the field. Open to ages 12-18, the two-week camp offers kids the chance to design their very own dream house, using the skills and technology taught to them by some of our firm’s staff members. It is one of the best times of the year for our firm – and seeing them present their final projects at the end of camp is an incredible feeling.
Interested in applying? Visit phxarch.com/summer-camp for more information.
PHX Architecture Summer Camp
PHX Architecture Summer Camp
Q: You mention designing opera sets as a dream project – and you’ve stated you love a challenge – do you have any others in mind in the Valley you have your sights set on?
A: Designing an Opera house is still very high up there on the list. I really credit my interest in a career in design and architecture to opera. My mom used to listen to opera all the time, and designing sets throughout high school and seeing the looks on people’s faces when the curtains went up – was really the catalyst for the career path I chose. Having the chance to design an opera house now, would just bring everything full circle!
Q: We are fortunate to see your “Living Architecture” all around the Valley and know you work on projects across the country including in a few TSG markets. Can you tell us a bit about these projects?
A: I really started using the term “Living Architecture” a few years back to describe the way we approach our designs. A common theme no matter where one of our projects is – Hawaii, Utah, Montana, Oklahoma, California, or right here in Arizona, is that we focus on creating a “sense of place” and really honoring the site that the home sits on. I am really excited to be bringing PHX designs to several new states this year. We are currently working on a home for a repeat client up in Whitefish, Montana. We are also working on custom homes in new markets like Park City, UT, and Hawaii. Additionally – we currently have Clubhouse projects in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, northern and southern California, Oklahoma, and Calgary, Canada. Excited to see where we go next!
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15990 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop, Suite C-100
Scottsdale, AZ 85260