Architect Wesley Kean, principal and founder of KoDA, has always been passionate about environment. In his design practice, he’s focused on improving the well-being of those who inhabit and experience his buildings by using architecture as a way to reconnect them with the physical and sociological benefits of nature. Together with his team of architects and designers, Kean is connecting architecture with nature and finding radical solutions to sea-level rise and other environmental concerns conducive to South Florida.
His views on “How Metabolist Ideas Can Potentially Solve Miami’s Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability” have been published in several publications addressing Miami’s particular challenges by focusing on a new architecture and urbanism which detaches the built environment from the ground. He believes the current strategy of increasing the height of seawalls as the water continues to rise is interminable. Rather than resist, the natural course of water should be allowed to follow its determined path, and knowing the issue in advance makes society capable of anticipating it and utilizing today’s technology to adapt to it.
Currently, KoDA is designing several luxury homes in South Florida and overseas including a six-bedroom, 7,429 square-foot home in Golden Beach that addresses the challenges of sea-level rise by implementing these Metabolist concepts.
“From the early 20th century, South Florida has been an attractive place to live in connection with the sub-tropical climate it offers. Since that time, lot sizes have decreased while the size of homes have increased, said Kean. “This, in addition to the risks of sea-level rise, have presented great challenges to architects. The design of this home addresses these challenges by maximizing the abundance of natural landscape on the ground floor to act as a bio-swale, while elevating the outdoor functions of the home to the second floor, above the garden.”
Located less than 400 feet away from the Atlantic Ocean, the design of the residence protects the family not only from yearly flooding, but also from the risks of climate change. As the sea-level continues to rise, the family can retreat to second floor living areas. Over time, and as the sea water advances onto land, the ground floor will return back to nature. Future additions are possible at the third-floor level as the family expands over time. In this way, the home becomes an example of Metabolic architecture.
“Incorporating the experience of nature in a home has the power to increase your happiness, health and overall well-being. The culture of architectural design seems to be a race for the most radical building. I believe that simple is the new radical,” added Kean.
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