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Where They Can Spread Their Wings

PHX Architecture Takes the Concept of a Break Room to Soaring Levels for an F-16 Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base

Crafting luxurious spaces that emphasize the best of creature comforts is what Erik B. Peterson does with his award-winning, firm PHX Architecture (

A current project has Peterson focusing his talents on a place to linger with a bar, patio with grill, and table games—all outfitted with contemporary furnishings that an exude a hip vibe. 

But instead of this being built in an extravagant abode, this soon-to-be hot spot will be located on Luke Air Force Base, and customized for an F-16 fighter squadron. 

Peterson designed the project with Esteban Loya, Associate III at PHX. 

The high-end break room is fashioned as a modern bar where the pilots can meet, mingle, unwind and, when needed, get some work done in a relaxing environment that feels like home.

Here, Peterson funnels his hospitality design experience into providing the same look and feel to a place that will give well-deserved breathers and respite to men and women who defend our nation.

There’s an indoor-outdoor connection between bar and patio, with garage doors and squadron branding throughout. There’s a spot for coffee mugs and snacks, and enough space to accommodate a monthly gathering where all of the pilots—this squadron has about 20—catch up with each other. Spanning a total of 1,088 square feet, it will also be the site of barbecues with their families.

Décor will honor the history of that fighter squadron, and a patio wall contains commemorative plaques for achievements and in memory of pilots past.

“We try to give each one its own personality. It’s based on the personality of the squadron, so some of those things influence the direction we take,” Peterson says.

Peterson has been nominated to be a part of the Honorary Commander Program for the Fighter Country Partnership. 

“It’s a great experience,” he says. “We can’t do the flying or fighting, so in some way, by making them feel good and giving them a space where they can enjoy and unwind, it is our way of giving back.”

  • Erik Peterson

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