Architect’s Perspective: Edward B. ‘Ned’ Sawyer, Jr, AIA: Site-Specific Architecture

March 5, 2019

Architect Ned Sawyer’s design philosophy is succinct: "Doing a building that is site-specific, not just about function but has to delight and excite. I establish an aesthetic using washes, rocks, and hillsides. With residential clients…have them discover such aspects during and after construction.”


I’ve toured numerous Sawyer designs and believe he delivers this mission on every project. His 45-year body of work has received 16 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design Awards and encompasses more than 150 buildings, including commercial, industrial, educational, medical, multi-family residential, custom single-family homes, and master planning.   



Beyond architectural design, Sawyer often guides the interiors with custom-designed furniture, accessories, company logo graphics, and the art selection. Creating with this approach is more holistic and provides a visual continuity.


Sawyer received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from ASU in 1967. From 1961-1971, Sawyer worked as a designer/draftsman for Alfred Newman Beadle, AIA, where he learned about the proportions and crafted detailing of the International style. I asked for unknown insight about the very talented Mr. Beadle. “He had a great sense of humor and received a bad rap as a grump,” Sawyer said. “He had a natural designer ability and a strong work ethic from being in construction. I also learned from him that architecture should be dynamic and respond to the harshness of the sun and...

To read the rest of this article, you are invited to purchase the digital issue here. 

This article originally appeared in the Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Jan/Feb 2019 issue, Vol. 8, No.1. The Arizona Contractor & Community magazine is a Bi-monthly publication.

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