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10.28.Islands-8 John’s Island – Vero Beach, Florida, Highlights Relevant to Sustainable Design:

Embrace indoor and outdoor living connections.

This is the entrance to a strikingly beautiful beach club. The facility includes multiple indoor and outdoor dining and entertainment areas. In many locations, large hinged doors open up to create the transition where you can sit under the cover of the roof but feel connected to the outside. These tempered zones are neither indoors nor outdoors but a combination of both. The spaces are inviting as well as dynamic in that the members and guests experience firsthand both subtle and dramatic changes in the immediate and the distant environments. This connection with nature in transition spaces circles back to themes from earlier sketchbooks like Japan 6: Detail (b).

Closing Perspective on the Island Experience

Less is more on islands. The cost difference between indigenous and imported materials is often dramatic and means that design decisions have a higher economic impact than on the mainland. Less is more, because you often find more integration between interior and exterior space with less building materials. The walls may be thinner, the windows may be larger, and the overall weight may be less given that so many inhabited islands are in temperate climates.

Pulling together the drawings and notes for this book created some welcomed parallel observations across continents and decades. Time was a surprising asset in the process of documentation, because the learning has built up and will hopefully continue for decades more of work in the field with pen in hand.

Author and illustrator: Charlie Szoradi is an architect, inventor, and the CEO of Independence LED Lighting. He writes about many other topics related to John’s Island and island life through his extensive travels around the world.

If you have found this posting online, it is an excerpt from Mr. Szoradi’s book Learn from Looking that served as the inspiring seed content for this drawing share resource. For additional drawings and insights on John’s Island and other islands, we hope that you enjoy exploring You can search via general terms such as sustainability as well as narrower terms such as Hawaii, Spring Island, Nantucket, Virgin Gorda, John’s Island, and also Martha’s Vineyard that is in the USA drawing series.