On the final day of Reinvention 2011, two of Phoenix’s best architects, Jones Studio and Wendell Burnette, AIA, shared the stage with equally respected builder Andy Byrnes, AIA. Byrnes’ company, Construction Zone, has built many projects with both firms.
After some brotherly banter, Neal Jones, AIA, LEED AP, and Eddie Jones, AIA, of Jones Studio shared some of the residential projects they’ve done with Construction Zone. From a wall of stacked glass to a smattering of delicate brass squares hanging over an entryway, the details impressed and delighted. “Amazing things can happen when everyone wants the same thing,” said Eddie Jones.
Wendell Burnette spoke of his beginnings in design/build while a student at Taliesin West. “There’s a tradition in architecture here in Arizona of architects building their own work,” he said. He presented some of the projects he and Byrnes have done together or are currently working on, noting that one of the best aspects of their collaboration is their tendency to push each other: “We do fight and argue and agree.”
Byrnes, who is an architect as well as a builder, spoke about his strong relationship with his many architect collaborators. “We do not hang architects out to dry,” he said. “We support and protect and enhance architects’ work.” About 20 percent of his company’s portfolio is design/build, he said, and it also does some of its own development work.
Construction Zone has felt the effects of the recession just as much as architects. But it’s now taking on projects farther afield and teaming with some of the country’s best design firms. Eddie Jones added a thought toward the end of the session: “What makes us and Construction Zone so successful when we work together is that we look beyond any immediate self-gratification. We come together for a common goal.”