Strang Design Unveils a Stunning Ecological Retreat in Fort Lauderdale
Environmental Modernism shines in this contemporary masterpiece by architect Max Strang and his team at Strang Design, an award-winning Florida-based architectural design firm dedicated to creating fully integrated stunning and sustainable properties. This new 8,125 sq. ft. residence on a picturesque grove along the Tarpon Bend Canal in Fort Lauderdale reflects both the full scope of Strang Design’s services–which include architecture, interior design, decorating and landscaping—and showcases passive design principles.
Optimizing the landscape and embracing Fort Lauderdale’s natural beauty, this breathtaking Tarpon Bend home is nestled strategically within a grove of trees. The lush foliage is incorporated into the exterior as well as the interior design, while the environment and majestic oak trees serve as inspiration.
Environmental Modernism in Full Bloom
Strang Design’s founder and lead architect Max Strang describes the project as “a family home connected to the water, the sky and the trees.” Interwoven seamlessly into its lush tropical surroundings, the home highlights the firm’s location-specific and climate-driven design ethos. In fact, the ability to create stunning architectural designs while maintaining an acute awareness of the surrounding environment has come to define its work.
Founded by Environmental Modernism pioneer Max Strang—a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA)—Strang Design is an acclaimed design firm specializing in sustainable passive design. Named 2022 Firm of the Year by the Miami Center for Architecture & Design (AIA Miami), the team has worked on projects across Florida, Colorado, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the United Arab Emirates.
The Tarpon Bend project underscores Strang Design’s ongoing exploration of regional modernism by adapting a straight-lined frame to site and climate-specific considerations. In this case, vertical fins provide shade from the intense Florida heat while adding the privacy of a retreat. Outside the private oasis, detailing includes rough keystone, exposed concrete, dark wood-like porcelain tile, crisp white stucco and shell stone hardscape.
The team also consciously applied passive design principles—an approach which is, in fact, anything but passive—by working with the framework of the existing climate and environment to create a house that is both ecologically and aesthetically outstanding. A fundamental tenet of passive design is to use the existing climate as well as smart building practices to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home, reducing the need for additional heating, cooling and electricity, thus cutting the home’s energy footprint. To this end, the team designed the home to include cross ventilation, deep overhangs for shade and a solar panelled roof. The programmable lighting design works with natural circadian rhythms, while an advanced water filtration system treats the municipal water before it runs through the house.
Blurring the Lines Between Indoors and Outdoors
Strang Design has done a masterful job of tying the interior and exterior project elements together with inventive and exquisite features in every room: rough keystone flows from the exterior walls to the interior on feature walls throughout the home, while outside the vertical fins create a rhythm on the façade as they provide privacy and framed views. By reflecting the fin placement and materials indoors, the project team has achieved a cohesive design that invites the outdoors in and the indoors out, crafting a property uniquely immersed in its surroundings.
Floor-to-ceiling windows pour light into the open concept living space and showcase the majestic tree-lined gardens. The surrounding landscape forms the backdrop in the primary bathroom featuring a freestanding statement tub and sculptural pendant. In the kitchen, sleek marble accents highlight products by Ernesto Meda, Miele and Subzero/Wolf. With an entire wall of windows showcasing the property’s natural beauty, the library lounge and adjoining music room are as magnificent as they are inviting.
Building and designing the home’s intricate music studio with the help of various consultants was a unique challenge. The finished product is a highlight of the home that ensures sound and technical specifications in a unique and integrated environment.
The renowned Florida firm’s newest project is a testament to Strang Design’s ability to mobilize their full scope of services to create an exquisite—and exquisitely efficient—design.
Writer: Lesley Bishin
Photos: © Kris Tamburello Photography