Thompson + Pollari

Whispering Palms Apartments | Phoenix, Arizona

This project includes both new construction and rehabilitation work for an existing affordable housing project directed at creating a new 20-unit development. Two wings of the existing building were retained, with construction of two new 2-story wings to form a four-sided courtyard complex with a secure landscaped interior court. The two new buildings are slightly “skewed” in plan from the existing buildings to create spatial energy within the courtyard interior and focus axial views to Piestewa Peak. A culturally-inspired central plaza is located outside the new Community Center space, incorporating a decorative image of the Owner’s logo stained into the circular flatwork.  

The new entry to the complex creates a welcoming, two-story portal to the interior courtyard zone. The double-height entry is created through a two-story “sunscreen” fabric structure that completes the form of the new buildings and provides a “signature” entry for the complex. A bridge feature at level two of the entry zone serves two upper floor units and doubles as performance space overlooking the central courtyard below. The new project completely transformed the aging property to create an architectural solution that enhances the neighborhood and community, and provides secure apartment “homes” for users. 


January 2005

Key Design Concepts

  • Shaded Outdoor Courtyard with BBQ, picnic seating and playground
  • Fabric sunshade structure to herald building entry
  • Skewed plan form to create spatial interest in secure courtyard
  • Custom logo design for courtyard paving


Arizona Accomplishments in Affordable Housing Exhibit, sponsored by ASU – 2006