Bryan Pepper 2017 South Florida Landscape Award Winner
FANN Real Florida Landscapes Design Competition 2017
Bryan Pepper’s ECO-TONOS Conference Center design is based on the concept of the ecotone, a point where two natural communities meet in tension. Eco-tonos is a discussion space outside a conference center located in South Florida and is inspired by South Florida native plant communities. The surrounding context is composed of natural pine rockland habitat with an abundance of exposed bedrock. The space represents an environment for the interaction of individuals and the integration of ideas.
The design of the space represents the ecotone between the Pine Rockland community and Tropical Hardwood Hammock. Slash Pine and Saw Palmetto represent the character of the Pine Rockland community. Pine trees are arranged in a grid to abstract the regular natural form. A commanding Royal Palm draws the user down a narrowing path toward the closed canopy of the hammock. An abrupt turn leads into a circular space on the edge of the hammock surrounded by exposed bedrock. This feature daylights the shared condition which both communities must overcome.
Without the ability to regularly burn the site, the natural process of succession will be that over the course of decades, hammock species will consume the site and ultimately shade out the slash pine pioneers of Eco-Tonos.
Bryan is a fourth year University of Florida undergraduate pursuing a dual degree program in Landscape Architecture and Sustainability and the Built Environment. Bryan feels that his dual degree program’s integration of science and design has added depth to his design projects and other assignments. He does not have a specific career plan yet, but knows he wants to emphasize highly efficient, low impact design. Bryan found the competition, where entrants are given a blank site to design from scratch, a challenge. Starting with the word “Ecotone” helped him get past the initial shock of a blank canvas and allowed the opportunity to explore a new creative process. Bryan believes the future of Landscape Architecture will continue to intertwine further with the concepts of sustainable design, and that native plant design, as the epitome of low impact design, will be the keystone in creating more sustainable landscapes.