Aesthetic Exploration – Southwestern

This southwestern aesthetic primarily involves adobe buildings from an architectural standpoint. This type of building has been dated to time periods before 5,100 BC and appears all over the world, the best examples of this aesthetic in the U.S. can be found throughout Arizona and New Mexico. An adobe building is different from other structures because the house itself is assembled from adobe bricks that are composed of clay, sand, rocks, and dirt then mixed with other earth materials such as straw in order to increase strength. Water is then added to this mixture and the bricks are set out to dry. These bricks are very effective when it comes to structures because they are very strong when subjected to compressive loads and are very inexpensive. They are also the perfect building material for the southwestern climate because they are excellent at maintaining inside temperatures even though the temperature outside has drastic fluctuations during the day and night. They are also resistant to damage caused by exposure from the sun for extended periods of time.


Adobe buildings have very noticeable features such as the flat roof with vigas which are the logs that protrude outside the building that can been seen just below the roof. They are also covered in stucco which gives a much more finished look compared to the bare adobe bricks that the walls are comprised of. This type of building can be seen in some of the oldest structures in the world and has had very little change throughout the course of history. The modern adobes are very similar to there older counterparts with the only modifications taking place inside the structure.

This southwestern aesthetic is seen inside the adobe structures as many of them incorporate earthy colors such as shades of brown, white, and tan. This is typically accompanied by a very minimalistic style and different objects that display nature such as the coffee table in the image that is made out of wood and the large windows allowing the resident to have a complete view of the surroundings.






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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Connor, very interesting find for these blog post. Southwestern architecture has always been intriguing to me being from the Midwest. I feel like you see these adobe styled influences mostly in as you said, Arizona and New Mexico but often you see various touches of it in other parts of the country such as Colorado and California. I often think out campus has a touch of the southern feel with the red brick and red roofing. Do you also feel that this southwestern aesthetic has influences on where its original function is useless?


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