Hottest Architectural Styles in Scottsdale

Hottest Architectural Styles in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a desert community that values the natural beauty of the surrounding desert landscape. With its abundance of parks, hiking trails, and world-class golf courses and spas, Scottsdale offers a unique blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty that makes it an exceptional place to visit or call home. 

This vibrant city in the heart of the Sonoran Desert is also home to some of the most stunning and innovative buildings in the Southwest. Whether you're a fan of sleek, modernist designs or prefer more traditional styles, Scottsdale's architectural scene has something to offer everyone. Here are eight of the hottest architectural styles you'll find in this sun-drenched paradise. 

Mediterranean Revival

Mediterranean Revival architecture is a popular style in Scottsdale that blends elements of Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial styles. This style is known for its red-tiled roofs, stucco walls, and arched doorways and windows. 

Notable examples of Mediterranean Revival architecture in Scottsdale include the Royal Palms Resort and Spa, a luxurious hotel that features lush gardens and a historic mansion, and the Arizona Biltmore, a landmark resort that renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed. 


With its emphasis on modern aesthetics, contemporary architecture in Scottsdale is a popular choice for those seeking a unique and stylish home. This architectural style is characterized by sleek lines, minimalist design, and a focus on functionality. Contemporary architecture emphasizes natural light and often features large windows, open floor plans, and high ceilings. 

Some notable examples of contemporary architecture in Scottsdale include Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, designed by Studio Ma, which features a stunning desert-inspired design. The Xeros Residence, designed by Matthew G. Trzebiatowski, is an award-winning net-zero energy home that showcases sustainable design principles and a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor spaces.


Modernist architecture is characterized by its emphasis on functionality, clean lines, and minimal ornamentation. In many ways, it can be seen as a precursor to contemporary architecture, which shares many of these same design principles. However, there are some key differences between the two styles. Modernist architecture often features flat roofs, asymmetrical facades, and the use of new materials such as steel and concrete. In contrast, contemporary architecture can include more organic shapes and materials like wood and glass.

A few examples of modernist architecture in Scottsdale include the David and Gladys Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son in 1950, and the Hotel Valley Ho, designed by Edward Varney in 1956. Both buildings feature clean lines and an emphasis on functionality that are hallmarks of the modernist style.


The ranch-style architecture features a single-story, low-pitched roof with wide eaves and a horizontal profile. This style emphasizes a connection to nature and often features outdoor living spaces, such as patios and courtyards. 

One notable example is the McCormick-Stillman Ranch House. This historic home features a ranch-style design and is now part of the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Other ranch-style homes in Scottsdale include the Paradise Valley Farms neighborhood, which features sprawling estates with ranch-style architecture and large, lushly landscaped lots.

Spanish Colonial Revival

The Spanish Colonial Revival style draws inspiration from Spanish architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries. It typically features low-pitched roofs, stucco exteriors, and ornamental details such as tilework and wrought iron. 

Spanish Colonial Revival homes are ideal for those who appreciate a combination of classic and contemporary design elements and want to create a sophisticated and timeless living space that celebrates Arizona's rich history and culture. One example is the Al Beadle-designed Adobe House, which features a modern take on the Spanish Colonial Revival style with a minimalist, desert-inspired design.

Desert Modern

Desert Modern architecture is a unique style that has become increasingly popular in Scottsdale over the past few decades. It combines elements of traditional desert architecture with a modern twist, incorporating clean lines, large windows, and a focus on indoor-outdoor living. 

Notable examples of Desert Modern architecture in Scottsdale include the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by architect Will Bruder, and the Cattle Track Arts Compound, a collection of studios and galleries designed by local architects over several decades. These buildings emphasize natural materials such as stone and wood, incorporating modern materials such as glass and steel.

Art Deco

Art Deco architecture is a unique and distinctive design style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s and is characterized by bold, geometric shapes, sleek lines, and lavish ornamentation. Although not as prevalent as other architectural styles in Scottsdale, there are still a few noteworthy Art Deco buildings in the area. 

One of the most well-known examples is the Scottsdale Waterfront Residences. This luxury condominium complex features French Art Deco doors throughout the interior and other elements such as rounded corners, intricate metalwork, and stylized lettering. 

Another example is the Orpheum Lofts, a historic building built as a theater in 1929 and has since been converted into stylish loft apartments. Art Deco architecture is an excellent choice for those who appreciate the glamour and elegance of a bygone era and want to incorporate these design elements into their home or building.


Craftsman architecture is another quirky design in Scottsdale, featuring a low-pitched roof with deep overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, and a front porch. This style emphasizes craftsmanship and attention to detail, often featuring natural materials such as wood, stone, and brick.

Examples of craftsman-style homes in Scottsdale include the Arcadia neighborhood, which features a modern twist on the classic craftsman design, incorporating large windows and open floor plans. Another example is the Willo Historic District in nearby Phoenix, which features an impressive collection of historic craftsman-style homes, and the Rosson House Museum, a beautifully restored Queen Anne-style home with craftsman-style influences. 

Scottsdale architecture offers a diverse range of styles that reflect this desert oasis's unique character and history. Whether you are in the market for a contemporary home with organic shapes and natural materials or a modernist house with clean lines and minimal ornamentation, there are many options to explore in Scottsdale. If you are interested in purchasing a home in this beautiful city, contact Michael Osborn today to learn more about homes for sale in Scottsdale.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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