View across the water of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Visitor Center as designed by DPZ.
The Architecture of DPZ
DPZ was founded as an architectural practice. Our early building designs served speculative real estate development on isolated suburban sites. Each project was a design effort to overcome the shortcomings of its context, and each added to our understanding of the zoning and land use regulations, engineering standards, market biases, and financial structure that form the modern city.
Rear view of the Ibis House at night, designed for the University of Miami president.
Early projects such as Hibiscus House metaphorically referred to the desired but missing urbanism with massing that appeared to be an aggregation of multiple buildings. The houses of Charleston Place emphasized shaping the public space of streets and parks. Seaside translated an analysis of American small towns into a design guide for many architects to produce a place of character and harmony.
Architecture informs our urban designs, and our master plans are accompanied by building plans that illustrate viable development types. Regional climate, geography, construction methods, historical precedents and market needs produce a local vernacular. Building typology and tradition provide a framework that invites the participation of many designers in making a place.
Architecture continues to be an important part of DPZ’s portfolio, including award-winning residential, commercial, institutional and civic buildings. The firm has produced innovative affordable and post-disaster housing, including Cabanons for post-earthquake Haiti. A prototype Katrina Cottage was constructed during a post-hurricane master planning charrette in St. Bernard Parish in New Orleans. And a patented courtyard scheme for affordable housing has been completed recently in the Florida Keys.