Alfred Browning Parker (1916-2011) was a Modernist architect best-known for post World War II residential architecture — first for the wealthy and later for the ecologically minded. Known as the “Playboy Architect of Miami” for his dashing good looks and high-society lifestyle, Parker gained fame for outstanding modern houses around Miami, Florida.
Influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright but with a tropically regional touch, Parker’s designs were notably published in magazines such as House Beautiful, as well as in companion books. A principal leader of “tropical organic architecture,” he was one of the most renowned and honored architects in Florida’s history — with over 500 structures to his credit.
The two houses he designed that I admire most — the “Mass Residence” and his own “Parker Residence” — exemplify the manner in which he harmonized a structure with Florida’s natural setting. His focus was not on creating “grand” homes but rather proportionally sized built environments appropriate to the setting, utilizing locally sourced materials and early explorations of environmentally efficient use of cross currents and shade.
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