By: Erenia Lemus-vazquez
From his debut in Modern Luxury Magazine to his Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce ‘Forward Thinker Award’, it has been a busy and prosperous year for FIU Architecture Professor and Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) researcher, Nick Gelpi.
His most recent accomplishment is a feature article published in the July/August issue of Dwell Magazine. “Pattern Recognition” covers Gelpi’s journey in the renovation his Miami Beach home and his personal test laboratory.
There exists many limitations to construction materials available or approved for architects in the United States, but Gelpi used this as an opportunity to create a home that featured inventive material applications.
The home features three dimensionally textured wall panels made from chips of melaleuca, an invasive tree species. These panels, are fabricated by combining mineralized wood chips from the melaleuca tree with cement to create a wood-based concrete. The melaleuca tree is native to Australia, but has been taking over the Everglades. Gelpi engaged this looming situation to introduce this exotic species as a featured component in the construction of his home. The combination of these materials aims to present new hybrid building material in the states.
The casting process was also a unique opportunity for Gelpi’s graduate students to join him in researching. With assistants through a grant, the material was explored for various building applications.
To view the entire published by Dwell Magazine please visit, “Pattern Recognition”.
Find out more information on Gelpi’s studio and research by visiting, Gelpi Projects.