A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Central Gulf Coast] is the first in the Living Tradition series. It is a richly illustrated description of the architectural traditions of the Gulf Coast over the past three centuries. But this is not just another catalog of American architecture of Caribbean heritage. Rather, it is a workbook, or "pattern book," that examines each pattern of architecture in detail, such as the proportion of a window, the slope of a roof, or the design of a garden wall. By doing so, it directs the design of new buildings that can become part of the centuries-long tradition of the architecture of the Most-Loved Places of the Gulf Coast.
Until now, pattern books of our day were something akin to recipe books, instructing which details to use for each style of architecture. A Living Tradition re-thinks pattern books from the ground up. It is principle-based, not style-based. Those principles are based on the architecture that makes the most sense for the Gulf Coast, not a random collection of historical styles. And each principle is explained in the plain-spoken fashion of "we do this because…"
One reason for building this way was to be sustainable. Originally (before the Thermostat Age,) traditional architecture had no choice but to be green, otherwise people would suffer or even die from weather and storm conditions. A Living Tradition explains the Original Green of each pattern that contributes to sustainability, re-infusing architecture with the green wisdom all our ancestors knew by heart. With this book, it's not just about style anymore.
We self-published this book, and print it on-demand in our office. As a result, it's really expensive ($150) and few people have seen it. If you want one, email us or call us at 786-276-6000. It would be great if someone would commission us to convert it from the ledger-size spiral-bound book it currently is into a regular book. If you know anyone on the Gulf Coast that might want to do so, please let us know… it's just too big a job for us to do without a commission.
We also hope to do Living Tradition pattern books for other parts of the world, and particularly for regions within the United States since that's where we live. This map illustrates regions that should each have a Living Tradition book based on their regional conditions, climate, and culture. If you know of an organization or government body in your region that might want to commission your regional Living Tradition, please let us know. Also, it doesn't have to be just one group; the book could be jointly commissioned by more than one entity.