My work focuses on the complex symbiotic relationship between architecture and landscape found in the American tropics as a way of sensitizing us to the necessity of balance. This ‘balance’ is a natural condition found in our bodies and in healthy cities. Balance is not just a goal of good design it is essential for us to survive.
Made from natural materials, architecture once constructed, stands against the natural world until the very forces that created it return it once again to its natural state. Given this cyclical reality our desire for maintenance, permanence and in some cases designed obsolescence incites reflection on our will to build, our notions of permanence, and even our place in this constantly changing natural and human condition. To this end my work looks to document, analyze and propose work that exposes this reality in order to affect better protection of our natural resources and to build a world more in harmony with these natural forces.
Architecture, landscape, and urban design are interconnected and should be conceived that way. The best architecture includes an intimate knowledge of landscape. Architecture and landscape conceived together must also be thought of as constructing and contributing to the city. There are scales to this relationship depending whether you are outside the city or at the very core of the city – but it is always there.
So often the origin of the city is founded on a reading of the landscape. Through time agricultural groves often provide the first rational gaze of the landscape providing a unit of measure upon which the city is built. The Cypress, Avocado, Mahogany, Citrus, Coconut, Pine and Ficus tree have given birth to some of the greatest sub-tropical cities and in many cases still survive to shade their streets and parks. Miami Beach was born from an Avocado grove, Key Biscayne a Coconut plantation, Coral Gables a citrus grove. It is often the promise of agricultural abundance that encourages the pioneer settler to take the first steps toward settlement that will eventually culminate in the construction of the city.
Early naturalists built some of the most sensitive responses to the landscape and often of materials found on site. Their experimental gardens mixed native and exotics to add the first ideas of diversity to the built and natural palette of the site. In their work we can find the seeds of a balanced approach to architecture.
The work that follows in one way or another engages this tradition and hopes to sensitize us to the informed production, transformation, and nurturing of nature through architecture as a way of finding balance.