Guy Peterson's Florida Modernism
by Saxon Henry
Guy Peterson, FAIA, draws on the Sarasota School of Architecture and other influences to create a variety of Florida regional modernism. Peterson spoke with author Saxon Henry about his design philosophy and process. — Editor
Saxon Henry: Why do you think that architects like Mies and Le Corbusier, who were being studied at Harvard during Rudolph's time, have had such an effect on your design philosophies?
Guy Peterson: I think there's a unique beauty in each of their approaches and attitudes about architecture, and they've influenced me differently, so I would say my work is more a synthesis of those ideas rather than representative of either one in particular. They certainly were the giants of the day, but they are not the only ones. Look at Wright: I don't think there's an architect living who wasn't influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright in terms of scale, proportion, geometry, and movement through space.
Geometry is an important element in my work. I love to work off of grid and use that grid as a constant defining element, but only to the point that it makes sense. In other words, it's essential not to force the design but to work it to the point that it has logic behind it. Wright was great at that.
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This article is excerpted from Four Florida Moderns by Saxon Henry, copyright © 2010, with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton.