“The essential element in architecture is the manipulation of space.” – Paul Rudolph.
These are the words that architect extraordinaire, Max Strang lives by. With his work being featured around Southern Florida, he makes sure to take into consideration the environment and humidity of the area by using durable natural materials and pushing the boundaries of traditional architectural design. His firm has won an ample number of prestigious awards such as AIA Florida Award of Excellence: New Work and can also be seen in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Architectural Digest. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Max Strang.
Sitting exclusively on a private lot in Miami Beach, The Janoura Residence Max Strang designed features an elongated stone step-way, an exterior of oolitic limestone, and oceanic views. Photography by Robin Hill Photography.
Andrew Joseph: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Max Strang: Escaping to a remote island in the Bahamas and spending time with friends and family. My wife and kids recently became certified in scuba… and I love diving in those spectacularly clear waters.
Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Max: From childhood to my early college years I had a significant stutter. With the right speech therapist, perseverance, and luck I was able to overcome it.
The exterior of this home in Tavernier, Florida was constructed of Florida keystone, louvered-glass bridge, and pitched metal roofs creating a serene environment. Photography by Claudio Gustavo Manzoni/Mark Seelen Photography.
Andrew: Who was the nicest person you worked for?
Max: Gene Leedy. When I was an intern in at his architectural office in Winter he would usually stroll into the office around 11am and then take me.
Andrew: What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
Andrew: Secret talent?
Max: I can fly an airplane and I used to be fluent in Russian.
This humble abode, deemed the “Ballast Trail Residence,” was built to express the beauty of old and new and celebrates the ecological and physical beauty of the Florida Keys.
Andrew: What might the design world look like in 10 years?
Max: I feel strongly that ‘sustainability should be a prerequisite for luxury’. With that in mind, the design world must continue to influence our culture-at-large that it’s best to splurge on things that ultimately help us achieve a net-zero objective. I think we are already on that path… and in ten years time I feel that all new homeowners will take pride in their home’s performance.
Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Max: “Don’t worry, one day you will be an engaging speaker!”
In this dining room, Strang decided on custom Walnut wood-paneled walls, marble floors, and brass inlay which flows from the walnut paneling through the baseboard, providing a contrasting effect. Photography by Claudio Gustavo Manzoni.
Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson. I grew up in Central Florida watching a lot of space shuttle launches… so I’ve had this life-long obsession with space travel.
Andrew: What would you like to be remembered for?
Making the world a more interesting and more beautiful place!
About The Designer | Max Strang is the founding principal of STRANG Architecture, a Miami-based firm acclaimed for its site-specific and climate-driven designs. Through his work and discourse, Strang has consistently underscored the ongoing relevance and importance of regional modernism to an international audience. In 2016, he was elected to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and in 2013 he received the Silver Medal from the Miami Chapter of the AIA, the highest honor the organization can bestow. He was raised in a Mid-Century Modern home designed by Gene Leedy of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Strang is a graduate of the University of Florida and Columbia University. Prior to establishing his own firm, he worked in the architecture offices of Gene Leedy, SHoP Architects and Zaha Hadid.
Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME Magazine.