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Tropic_Mar16_eMag

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33 T R O P I C M A G A Z I N E architecture + design To best understand the RainGarden, a grouping of nine, two-story rowhouse-style apart- ments recently completed in Winter Haven, you need to look no further than the pro- ject's architect, Max Strang of Strang Architecture. Miami-based, Strang began his career in Gene Leedy's Winter Haven office years ago, and the influence of Leedy –– indeed the influence of the entire Sarasota School of Architecture –– shines through in Strang's work. The Sarasota School of Architecture, characterized by the work of Leedy, Philip Hiss, Ralph Twitchell and most notably Paul Rudolph, was characterized by its focus on local climate and terrain. Leedy's work was often an exploration in creating a modernist lan- guage that made better sense for Florida, a land of intense sun and humidity. Strang's work uses that of Leedy and the others as a springboard for his own investigations, the latest of which was created for a development team called Six/Ten, a group that wanted to revitalize downtown Winter Haven with the first multi-family housing devel- opment it had seen in a quarter century. Strang's design is absolute simplicity, and perfect for a downtown neighborhood where there is a delicate bal- ance needed in becoming part of the urban fabric. At the same time, it keeps enough privacy so that you are Smart+Sexy Conjuring up all the vitality of the original Sarasota School, architect Max Strang redefines the rowhouse... and life in downtown Winter Haven. Text John T. O'Connor Photos Calder Wilson 33 T R O P I C M A G A Z I N E Since its completion last year, the RainGarden has been completely rented. With trees and umbrellas popping up be- hind the privacy walls, the RainGarden finds itself a welcomed addition to city life in Winter Haven.

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