Publications and Awards
“In this groundbreaking book, architect Vernon Swaback argues convincingly that financial success in real estate development will increasingly require design that is smarter, greener, and more sustainable. Using historical perspective, examples from visionaries, and case studies of diverse projects that range from custom homes to mixed use, government buildings to resort environments, Swaback makes the case that old, tired formulas and codes that encourage mediocrity will no longer produce results and that tomorrow’s most successful developments will create new value for society. This will include building with the site to minimize environmental and energy costs, enhancing visual attributes, improving livability, the role of transit and also the government, recognizing the importance of socialization and community spirit, and considering the whole picture, formed of home and community. Stunningly illustrated with hundreds of photographs and examples.”
Creating Value: Smart Development and Green Design
“Of those 150 recognized projects, Univision Studios has been honored as one of the 18 Greatest Architectural Achievements in Arizona.
On November 5, 2007, a special reception to commemorate AIA's 150-year anniversary and celebrate Arizona's excellence in architecture recognized 18 projects that a committee of industry professionals felt best represented Arizona's past and present.”
Swaback’s first book Designing the Future was published by Arizona State University and is available through the firm. The second book The Custom Home - Dreams, Desires, and Design was selected by Doubleday as one of their first line books and is available through Amazon.com and various book retailers. The Creative Community, Designing for Life is in its second printing and has received awards and recognition as a guide to a more humane manner of development. The Washington Post carried an article by Neil Pierce about Vern’s work entitled, “A Community and Global Vision From an Arizona Architect.” Designing with Nature is the fourth book to come from Swaback Partners and is available through the firm. All of the books have grown out of testing our philosophy and related designs both in real time and over time. In the process, we have learned to take the discomfort of temporary confusion in stride. Properly guided, this is the path that leads to valuable insights that premature clarity would otherwise block from view.
To be human is to question and dream.
Swaback Partners has been recognized with awards and honors in everything from resort condominiums and custom residences to office and mixed-use commercial projects including the following:
Chaparral Water Treatment Facility : Located at one of the city’s busiest intersections, the design goal for the Chaparral Water Treatment Facility was to combine art and architecture into one form and serve as a transition to an adjacent 29-acre park. Using shade and shadow as a design tool, the transition is softened by weathered, woven metal sculptures and artistic tensile canopies. The project has received awards in the following categories; 2007 “Judges Special Award of Excellence” Best in the West Gold Nugget Award, 2007 “Water Project of the Year” AWPCA, 2006 – 2007 “ Environmental Excellence” award, Sponsored by the Valley Forward Association, Art in Public Places Category, 2006 – 2007 - Grand Award Winner, Sponsored by the ACEC (Engineering & Architecture)
Scottsdale Water Campus : Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Scottsdale Water Campus is currently the largest in the nation to treat wastewater to drinking water standards using micro filtration (MF) and reverse osmosis (RO) technologies. Considered the first of its kind in the nation, the $116 million Water Campus is located on 143 acres in north Scottsdale.
The Citadel at Pinnacle Peak : A mixed-use project containing a sidewalk cafe, gourmet restaurant, market, art galleries, a regional bank and upper level offices. The Citadel received a 1989 Excellence in Architecture Award from the Arizona Society of the American Institute of Architects.
Ballantrae Ridge at Troon Village : A series of zero-lot-line semi-custom residences that have proven to be successful in the marketplace and have received two Gold Nugget Awards from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.
A Residence in Pinnacle Peak : Which received the 1987 Valley Forward Association's Environmental Excellence Award.
A Hillside Residence in Carefree, which received the 1989 Valley Forward Association’s Environmental Excellence Award; the American Institute of Architects/Phoenix Home and Garden; Arizona Home of the Year Award and the 1989, Best in American Living Award sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and Professional Builder Magazine.
A Mural for Talley Industries : Which received the 1987 Valley Forward Association's Environmental Excellence Award for the Best Work of Art in Private Places category.
The Studio Complex in Scottsdale : Has received awards from the Arizona Society of the American Institute of Landscape Architects; the Valley Forward Association's Environmental Excellence Award for the Best Commercial Building under 50,000 square feet; a Gold Nugget Award from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference and the top award in the State from the Arizona Society of the American Institute of Architects.
The Litchfield Master Plan : Has received a Gold Nugget Award from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference for "Best New Town Land Plan."
Swaback Partners received the 1991 Professional Achievement Award for "Water Conservation," recognizing Swaback Partners efforts in creating attractive xeriscape environments and co-authoring Desert Excellence - A Guide to Natural Landscaping.
Sedona Community Plan : Received the 1990 Arizona Planning Association Award for "Best Public Information/Participation Program."
Scottsdale Visioning : Received the 1993 Arizona Planning Association Award for "Best Public Information/ Public Participation Program."
DC Ranch : Gold Nugget Award in 1998. Best Community/Town Site Plan over 500 acres.
- Orchid Award in 1998. Recognized as the best residential
- Mame Award for Best Master Planned Community in 1998.
- Homebuilders Association of Central Arizona.
- Arizona Masonry Guilder in 1998 awarded us Annual Excellence
in Masonry. Stonework for the entry feature and all of the stone
site walls along Thompson Peak Parkway.
- Landscape Contribution Award 1998. Associated Landscape
- Contractors of America presented at the Environmental
- Scottsdale Places in 1999. Awarded by the City of Scottsdale.
Title is given to entities that make the city a better place in which
to live and work.. DC Ranch was cited for best in Architecture,
City Form and Landscape Design.
- Crescordia in 2000. Building & Structures - Large Scale and
Community Development, Bridges and Transit Stops.
- Crescordia in 2000. Residential Building & Structures - Large
Scale and Community Development, Sales and Information
- Arizona Landscape Contractor's Association "Judges Award" -
DC Ranch Community Entry
- Valley Forward Award "Award of Merit" - DC Ranch Parks, Trails,
Paths, Lake and Thompson Peak Parkway
- Valley Forward Award "Award of Merit" - DC Ranch Golf
- Valley Forward Award "Award of Merit" - DC Ranch Homes
- Valley Forward Award "Award of Merit" - DC Ranch Desert Camp