Drewett Works project The Crusader was featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Iconic Life Magazine.  Thank you to Iconic Life for featuring the project, and to writer Emily Jacobs for the beautiful article. Enjoy!


What’s the Best in American Living? Drewett Works Sweeps the Annual Awards Three Years in a Row.

Written by Emily Jacobs

C.P. Drewett, founder and president of Drewett Works is no stranger to the stage, sweeping the annual Best in American Living Awards three years in a row.

This year, The Crusader, designed by Drewett, which takes inspiration from an F8 Crusader plane, wings folded, on a carrier deck, was named Home of the Year in the 2020 Best in American Living Awards by the National Association of Home Builders as well as Best in Region—Pacific. The awards were presented this February.

The home’s builder was Peak Ventures; interiors and furnishings were by Ownby Design; and landscape design was by High Desert Designs. The project also was awarded a Platinum Award in the Detached Home Over 5,000 sq. ft. Built for Sale category and a Silver Award in the Outdoor Room category.

With a mandate from the soon-to-be-retired builder to create a modernist piece of architecture as his swan-song project, the architect set out to commemorate his father’s military service as a Marine Corps aviator and pilot of the F8 Crusader. The roof form folds and angles were the genesis of the design.

A spinal column runs through providing circulation and illumination by skylights and clerestories, penetrating the core of the house with natural light. The resulting roof forms open up to the Sonoran Desert and southward toward local landmark Pinnacle Peak. The angularity of the house allowed freedom to capture views more effectively than an orthogonal piece of architecture.

The lot sits on a peninsula, highly exposed on three sides yet with tremendous views. The manner in which the roof lines converge, as well as the folding undulations of the glazing, created pockets of privacy, allowing the occupant to feel autonomous.

“There’s a big idea in the central spine,” judges commented. “They were looking to create something great. The plan of the house (and the roof plan), and how it sits on the site, just grabs you and is outstanding. It looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-style design.”

Tonal Harmony, a custom Paradise Valley residence where every room opens to exterior spaces and dramatically embraces the natural environment, was named Room of the Year.

Again, designed by Drewett, the builder was Argue Custom Homes; interior design was by Ownby Design; and landscape design was by Refined Gardens. The project also was awarded a Platinum Award in the Outdoor Room category and a Platinum Award in the Owner Suite, Custom category.

With the goal of creating a tranquil retreat, the architect sought to embrace outdoor views and spaces. Public and outdoor spaces are composed of stone-clad massing elements that open via pocketing glass doors and convert into a desert pavilion.

A challenge of the site included washes that traversed the lot. The pool played a large role in containment. The guest house cantilevers over one of the washes. The guest house also has a lower volume, providing a distinct communal and intimate sense.

The judges praised the strong, linear shape that is connected to the entire house. “The landscape provides a seamless transition between the interior and exterior,” they commented. “The fire-and-water combination feature is cool. The outside is zoned and designed well as separates, yet still very well tied together.”

Drewett Works also won a Platinum Award for On the Boards Single-Family Production/Spec Home with Tri-Angulate.

“This year’s BALA winners continue on the rich tradition of exceptional residential home design,” said David O’Sullivan, principal of O’Sullivan Architects and 2020 Judging Chair. “These winners are truly forward-thinking and some of the most talented professionals in their respective fields.”


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