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Four Florida Moderns

The Architecture of Alberto Alfonso, René González, Chad Oppenheim, and Guy Peterson

Saxon Henry (Author)


A colorful survey explores the diverse styles of the arbiters of modernism in Florida.

Alberto Alfonso, René González, Chad Oppenheim, and Guy Peterson—The Florida Four—are making a mark for themselves in contemporary architectural circles, infusing modernist traditions with their own flair. Practitioners of modernism in Florida—or, more accurately, tropical modernism—they are producing noteworthy works that display their commitment to distinctive regionalism. This book is the first to showcase their rich and varied repertoires.

Each of the four architects has a unique take on modernism, resulting in four very different aesthetic approaches. From airports, medical facilities, and museums to open-air chapels, waterfront homes, and condominium complexes, their designs are fascinating for both their rootedness in modernist ideals and their dramatically different interpretations of it.

More than 300 vibrant, full-color photographs offer a survey of work by each of the architects. At once a striking visual tour and a thoughtful examination, Four Florida Moderns treats readers to the rich and innovative styles of tropical modernism as conceived by four trailblazing architects.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • February 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-73274-0
  • 8.4 × 8.3 in / 320 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“If you think that Florida architecture is a mishmash of Mediterranean, Art Deco and Bungalow-style architecture with a splash of Caribbean color, then Four Florida Moderns by Saxon Henry will show you in colorful detail just how wrong you are.” — The Miami Herald

“[T]he architecture in the volume’s pages is crisp and exciting, evoking ‘50s and ‘60s modernism while being completely of our own time….Saxon Henry has crafted an appreciative, informative text….It isn’t often that today’s buildings, with their complex demands unheard-of at mid century, exhilarate, but the Florida Four manage the feat handily.” — Modernism

“Their innovative styles are seen in vibrant photographs, which take readers on a remarkable visual tour. Why We Love It: It’s a ringside seat to the Florida Four’s varied repertoires.” — Luxe Interiors

“[A]n ideal travel companion as well as a coffee-table curio.” — HOME Miami / HOME Fort Lauderdale

“The architecture of Alfonso, Gonzales, Oppenheim, and Peterson testifies to the fact that modern architecture is not a style but a way of life. In their work, modernism evolves into a lyrical language....The buildings exist in harmony with their site and climate, mutating the tradition of modern into a melodic relationship between architecture and nature.” — Toshiko Mori, FAIA, Principal, Toshiko Mori Architect, and former chair of the Department of Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

“In lush, striking photos, it highlights the work of four native architects, all of whom are acutely aware of the nature of the tropics and the romanticism of its qualities. By incorporating water, breezes, vistas, shadows, and heat into their work, the psychological appeal is impressive and undeniable. Their exploration and application of new materials and natural elements is innovati ve. I recommend this book highly.” — Mark Hampton, FAIA, Mark Hampton Architect, Miami, FL

“This impressive gathering is amply supplemented by a series of essays from some of the country’s biggest names in design, as well as extensive architect Q&A’s conducted by the book’s author, Saxon Henry.” — Residential Architect

Four Florida Moderns allows readers to join the conversation of a mature quartet of architects who strive to create works appropriate to their place and time. It beautifully illustrates the power and importance of the modern movement’s encounter with Florida’s contemporary lifestyle as it evolved in a place of strong light, challenging climate, and sublime horizon.” — Will Bruder, Principal, Will Bruder Partners, LTD

“Loaded with lush, crisp photography of the four Florida architects’ trailblazing work, the book is a visual tour and thoughtful examination of tropical modernism as it’s practiced today.” — Architects + Artisans

“Architecture fans have to get a copy of this fantastic book….looks so darn great upon my coffee table!” — Delta Sky

“[A]n experiential visual and written tour of a thoughtfully curated review of architectural projects designed by four of Florida’s new masters of modern architecture….beautifully written essays add a level of contextual understanding to the works of the four architects that pictures alone simply cannot convey….I highly recommend this book to architecture and design students, enthusiasts, and to all who are seeking a fountain of inspiration.” — The Decorating Diva

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