The mind of an architect is a bizarre mess of creativity and practicality.
My decision to pursue a career in architecture was slow to unfold. I had the enormous benefit of being raised in a home designed by Gene Leedy. I am thankful that my parents had the inclination to commission and live in a modern house. My childhood home, described by Robert McCarter as "a masterpiece of domestic architecture", undoubtedly had a profound impact on the way in which I perceived the world. Through the eyes of a child, I experienced life through the power of sculpted concrete and the transparency of towering walls of glass. These experiences shaped my perception of the built environment and placed me solidly, yet unknowingly, on the path to become an architect. Throughout my entire youth in Winter Haven I was constantly exposed to Gene's projects and also his stories of the Sarasota School of Architecture. My appreciation for Florida modernism grew far beyond the singular house in which I was raised. I became enamored with the profession as a whole. Not many ten-year-olds were conversant about the architecture of Paul Rudolph and Frank Lloyd Wright or the photography of Ezra Stoller.
The University of Florida School of Architecture provided solid opportunities to learn and hone my design skills. Additionally, my experiences in New York at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation allowed me to design with even greater confidence and maturity. Many great professors and the camaraderie of studio-mates sustained me through years of university-level education. I would like to thank Gregg Pasquarelli for his friendship and academic guidance during my years at Columbia University and also for his mentorship during my employment at SHoP. How could I possibly have turned down an opportunity to work on the Manhattan Museum of Sex?
Jason Adams joined in the firm in 2003 and has been instrumental in the continued growth and success of the firm. He is an outstanding partner and friend. As the firm has expanded to include multiple offices and a sizable team I want to acknowledge the effective and creative leadership of our associates and directors. Producing the steady flow of award-winning and successful projects takes a lot of dedication. I am constantly inspired by the professionalism of our entire team of project architects, project managers, designers and support staff. Together we've evolved from a very small operation to become one of Florida's most critically acclaimed and trusted architecture firms. I look forward to our shared continued success.
Our clients have given us the opportunity and platform to exercise our creativity. I would like to thank them for the trust they extended to me during my early professional years and later to our entire team. My appreciation also goes out to all of the general contractors, sub-contractors, carpenters, stonemasons and other tradespeople that have made our visions a reality.
Making this monograph has taken tremendous effort from many people over many years. Oscar Riera Ojeda has demonstrated an enduring commitment to the quality of the product and its content. I would like to extend a special thanks to him for guiding me through this process...and also to Robert McCarter, Byron Hawes and John T. O'Connor for describing the work of [STRANG] with their critical insights and historical context. This book would not be possible without the engaging imagery of Claudia Uribe-Touri, Claudio Manzoni and the other talented architecture photographers that have captured our work over the years. Their work, along with the striking visualizations of Spine3D, have made this book exceptional.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who continues to appreciate the ongoing relevance of 'regional modernism'.