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Vice President / Director

He has been called a dreamer, philosopher, and visionary, but most of all, he has been an agent of change, who heads up one of the southwest’s most sought-after firm of architects and planners. “Builder” magazine featured his concept for a whole new type of community under "Housings Best Weigh in on the 21st Century."

He has been inducted into the college of Fellows of both the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Certified Planners with his most recent award from the Arizona Planning Association for 25 years of continuous leadership. The record of awards accorded to Swaback Partners 50 person multi-disciplinary organization, includes honors for public art, manufactured housing, historic restoration, town planning, water-conservation, and for their books including Designing the Future and The Custom Home, “Dreams, Desire and Design,” these were followed by The Creative Community, Designing for Life and his most recent book Designing with Nature. Soon to be published is his “Straight Talk About Sprawl, Smart Growth, Green Architecture & Sustainable Design” which explores the broader community context of high-performance design.

Vernon D. Swaback moved from his native Chicago to Arizona in 1957 to become an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. He remained with the Wright organization for twenty-two years, 27 years after founding Swaback Partners, he was elected as the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundations, Chairman of the Board, where he is now working on a grand vision for a greatly expanded programs for the 21st Century.

Vern’s work as an independent architect and planner accompanies the period of the Valley’s most dramatic growth. When Camelback road was still a mainly empty street, he planned the 1,000 acres that are now Arizona Biltmore Estates. In his role as the founder and managing partner of Swaback Partners, Vernon Swaback has been intimately involved in the vast majority of the firm’s planning projects. Swaback Partners have been involved in the Phoenix metropolitan area’s largest and most significant master-planned communities, including the Arizona Biltmore Estates, Mountain Park Ranch and DC Ranch. The firm has prepared general plans for the town of Fountain Hills, Arizona and the city of Sedona, Arizona, both of which involved the direction of the public participation process that created those plans. From 1991 to 1993, the Swaback team directed the citizen-centered program known as Scottsdale Visioning, a program that has served to guide and direct the rapid and dynamic growth of the City of Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, Swaback and his firm have had a long-running involvement in the on-going planning and development of the historic 5,000-acre Village of Kohler, Wisconsin.

Vern and his partners have been involved in the Valley’s largest and most significant master-planned communities. The firm has prepared general plans for the town of Fountain Hills and the city of Sedona. From 1991 to 1993, the Swaback team directed the citizen-centered program known as Scottsdale Visioning. They were Planners for Mountain Park Ranch, Las Sendas, the 8,300-acre DC Ranch, the 5,600-acre Anthem, and the historic 5,000-acre Village of Kohler, Wisconsin.

In addition to a wide range of custom residences, Swaback Partners work in Arizona includes the Citadel at Pinnacle Peak, Troon North Golf Clubhouse, Ancala Country Club, Cactus Park Aquatics and Fitness Center, the master plan and restoration of the Webster Auditorium for the Desert Botanical Garden, the Stone House Pavilion at the Phoenix Zoo, renovation of the Arizona Biltmore, a variety of hotels and corporate office buildings, Scottsdale Water Campus, and the Kartchner Caverns Discovery Center and environs for Arizona State Parks. The firm’s most recent work includes Hangar One at Scottsdale Airpark, the Chaparral Water Treatment Plant, The William Center for the Art of Philip Curtis at the Phoenix Art Museum, The 2,200 unit Las Palomas complex in Puerto Penasco also the Aviana Spa for Hyatt Gainey and the Hyatt Vacation Club in Sedona. The most current land development projects include the 1,294 acre Biosphere project in Oracle, 1,045 acres in Kauai, Hawaii, Rainbow Valley 1,500 acre project in Goodyear, Arizona, the 15 acre Phoenician Residential Estates in Phoenix, Arizona, 5,000 acre Lake Pleasant project, 14,000 acre Laughlin Ranch master plan, and the 3,000 acre Marana Master Plan in Marana, Arizona Swaback Partners is registered in 20 states from Hawaii to Florida with current projects, nationwide in planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design.





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