Principal - Paul R. Broadhurst & Associates
Areas of Specialty
- Landscape Design
- Furniture & Accessory Design
Designer Q&A with Paul
What is your design philosophy?
I seek to understand ‘spirit of place.’ What makes a place memorable? What design elements create character and identity.
An understanding of this has profound implications in design and is the animating principle in my work. Its application connects architecture, human use and nature to create engaging and purposeful spaces.
What led you to this career?
Mrs. Watkins. As my nature study teacher in England, she opened my eyes to the natural world around me. I was eight. In my early teens, it was my correspondence with the incorrigible Christopher Lloyd that cemented my lifelong interest in the place where people and plants intersect: The Garden. A Catalpa bignoniodes ‘Aurea’ that he recommended, still grows in my parents' garden in England, outliving all of them.
What has been your favorite project and why?
A current project here in Washington state. Its scale is allowing me to explore and combine "West Coast living" and west coast plant communities.
Tell us about your most challenging project.
The above landscape. In the northwest we are blessed with a benign maritime climate. A multitude of plant choices are therefore possible. The challenge is one of editing.
What is your design process?
I first consider context, paying attention to small-scale issues such as soils and sun exposure. Panning out for a wider view, I note the architecture and local neighborhood. At the largest scale, I consider the region. Does it have a vernacular style? Is there distinctive native vegetation?
I then ask questions of my client. What are their thoughts and preferences? What are the intended and unexpected uses?
Lastly, I try to explore and incorporate aspects of design that I am currently excited by, even it is beyond the realm of landscape. This keeps my work dynamic and fresh.