Sustainable South Florida Style
Strang Design’s newest project in Fort Lauderdale demonstrates how sustainable living can be both stylish and beautiful.
There is more to South Florida than just the subtropical climate. The unmistakable style, music and culture all combine to make the Greater Miami Area, from booming Fort Lauderdale in the north, through the commerce of downtown, to the swagger of South Beach and the laid-back vibe of the Florida Keys, one of the largest and most vibrant metropolitan areas in North America.
Given the region’s location, interconnected waterways and climate, the environment plays a major role in architecture and design, as evidenced by Strang Design’s recent completion of an 8,125-square-foot residence sited along the Tarpon Bend Canal in Fort Lauderdale. This award-winning, stunning showcase reflects Strang Design’s deep commitment to sustainability with a design philosophy it dubs “Environmental Modernism.” The Florida firm’s newest project also reflects the full scope of its services – architecture, interior design, decorating and landscape – while incorporating numerous sustainable design moves.
The design of this family home underscores Strang’s ongoing exploration of regional modernism by adapting site-specific and climate specific considerations. For example, to honour the surrounding terrain, Strang designed the home around existing oak trees, making it feel both timeless and at one with nature.
The sleek and contemporary design includes vertical “fins” that address shading and privacy concerns. The firm utilized a passive design approach to help reduce the home’s energy footprint with a solar panel array on the roof.
The Strang team even incorporated engineered systems focused on innovative wellness technologies. For example, the design emphasized cross ventilation throughout, and the home’s lighting design works in response to circadian rhythms, with the option to be programmed, while a mechanical water system treats and enhances the quality of the local water supply.
As an architectural, interior design and landscape design firm founded by Max Strang in 1998, the company has been globally recognized for pushing projects beyond necessity in a world where architecture becomes art, and this Fort Lauderdale home is a prime example of utilizing its location within a grove of oak trees to fuse form with function.
As in Strang Design’s numerous other residential projects, the home is impressive, stylish, well-crafted and simply beautiful in its appearance and living flow. Once again, Strang Design has delivered strongly in advancing the principles of environmental modernism in an extraordinary location. Strang Design was working in an area it knows well with this latest triumph, given its Florida base and offices in Miami and Sarasota. While it is deeply connected to Florida, it has also created projects across the Caribbean, Colorado, the Bahamas, the Dominion Republic, the Florida Keys and the United Arab Emirates.
“A family home connected to the water, the sky and the trees.”
The team is focused on a common thread in its work – the enduring intrigue of modernism – and was recently recognized as 2022 Firm of the Year by the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
It was the latest award for Max Strang, who for more than 20 years has demonstrated a commitment to creating high-quality designs with a focus on academic and professional engagement. Elevated to the AIA National Council of Fellows in 2016, Strang has won dozens of awards, including 2022 AIA Miami Architect of the Year, 2019 Florida Medal of Honour for Design and the 2013 AIA Miami Silver Medal for Design.
Max Strang has been published in more than 200 magazines, news interviews and books and has produced two firm monographs, the most recent being Subtropic, the Architecture of [STRANG], which reflects and illustrates the concepts of environmental modernism showcased in his work. Strang calls the Fort Lauderdale home “a family home connected to the water, the sky and the trees.”
Living and working in South Florida, Strang and his team of talented professionals see first-hand and understand fully the impact climate change will have on residential and urban development in the coming decades, with their iconic designs thoughtfully integrating South Florida’s subtropical climate. As the recent Hurricane Ian showed quite devastatingly in Florida, as ocean temperatures rise, storms are increasing in velocity and duration. This all must be calculated into practical, thoughtful, yet attractive design.
For some reason, the image of utilizing “sustainability” in architecture and design does not evoke something attractive or beautiful in the quality of materials. That is a mistake. As Strang Design has so clearly demonstrated with this impressive residential project in Fort Lauderdale, a home can be both beautiful and sustainable – and that is a message we all need to learn, accept and, perhaps most importantly, embrace.