Set in a dense ecological preserve on Florida’sIntercoastal Waterway, the Leeper Studio Complex is home to a renowned artists-residency program that counts such artists as Robert Rauschenberg,Lukas Foss, Edward Albee and Alice Aycock among its alumni. The complex includes studios for dance, drama, painting, sculpture, music and writing; plusa black-box theater, library and dining hall. The design weaves studio pavilions into the vegetation, creating a sense of complete immersion into the landscape. The pavilions are linked by a boardwalk, which sits two and a half feet off the jungle floor and provides both circulation and public spaces toexchange ideas and spark collaboration between artists. Structures are highly responsive to the environment: Each roof, for example, gathers torrential rainfalls and channels the water into a single scupper; expansive glass walls maximize northern light while wood louvers lessen the effects of direct tropical sunlight. Materials include cedar siding; epoxy-coated steel curbs,lightposts and trellises; mahogany windows; lead-coated copper roofs;poured-in-place concrete and glass.
Completed in 1997, the Leeper Studio Complex has won widespread recognition: two State of Florida grants; an American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for Design Excellence; an American Institute of Architects New England Honor Award for Design Excellence; I.D. Magazine’s Annual Design Review Design Distinction Award; a Boston Society of Architects Design Honor Award; an American Wood Council Honor Award; a Progressive Architecture magazine award. In addition, the project has been featured in Architectural Record, Architecture, Progressive Architecture, GA and INSITE.
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL, US