Alys Beach

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Duany Plater-Zyberk

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Alys Beach has exceeded everyone’s expectations in terms of sheer beauty. It proves that architecture that is profoundly ecological and tough enough to resist hurricanes can be beautiful. This is important. There is too much of the attitude that “green” and “hardened” buildings are inevitably coarse and ugly and that we ignorant folk are supposed to just put up with it. Not so—as you can see at Alys! —ANDRES DUANY

Over the last 30 years, the planning and architecture firm Duany Plater Zyberk and Company has crafted plans for over 300 new towns, regions, and revitalization projects throughout the world, including Alys Beach.The firm’s founders and principals are Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, recognized leaders in the New Urbanism movement to combat sprawl and return to walkable, human-scale towns.

DPZ’s projects are characterized by a charette—an intensive study and design process that brings together in one room the many disciplines needed for successful town planning, including architecture, engineering, landscape, and community. The resulting town plans and urban and architectural codes support an attractive and functional public realm and buildings adapted to local conditions. The firm’s pioneering work has created many highly acclaimed projects—including the town of Seaside, Florida, hailed as the first new town built in America in 50 years.

The firm is at the forefront of the development of Smartcode—a form-based code that specifies the massing and orientation of buildings rather than the use, and is replacing traditional zoning codes across the country. As dynamic promoters of New Urbanism, DPZ actively lends time and expertise to a number of organizations devoted to town building, including the Congress for the New Urbanism, Seaside Institute, and the University of Miami School of Architecture, where Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk is dean. The firm has been honored with numerous national and international awards, and recently received The Groves Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism in honor of Miami 21, which is a complete overhaul of the city’s zoning code that will create a more attractive and pedestrian-friendly city.