Paul R. Broadhurst Bsc, MLA
Born in the United Kingdom, and with a degree in Environmental Science (BSc, London), Broadhurst earned his Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington.
An award winner (2008, 2009) of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ National Design Competition, Broadhurst has projects in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, with his work featured on local and national media platforms, including magazines, both in the U.S. and internationally.
A lifelong environmentalist, humanist, artist, and curious observer, Broadhurst’s passion is in exploring the edges where nature and man meet. It is at this juncture where he sees the most useful and exciting opportunities for design—to forge deeper and more meaningful connections between humans, other species, and the natural world. Broadhurst views design pressed into service as a hopeful, affirming creative act.
Broadhurst resides with his partner in Seattle, but can often be found rambling the wilds of Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.
Broadhurst + Associates
Exploring the margin between the designed and natural world.
What design elements create character and identity and, in turn, a memorable sense of place?
This is the animating principle of Broadhurst + Associates, a Seattle landscape design firm founded by Paul Broadhurst in 2008. This is evident through the thoughtful exploration of the relationship between organic and inorganic that we bring to all of our projects. While ground plane and built elements are confidently expressed, plant life and nature always contribute a critical component to the ‘internal dialogue’ of our designs.
Successful design for us is measured by the degree and depth of peoples’ connection with it. The opportunity to shape this outcome is the thrill of our profession.
Creating Spirit of Place: Genus Loci
The ancient Greeks spoke of Genus Loci or the Spirit of a Place. It defines the profound qualities which gives the perception of a place its character and identity.
Genus Loci only exists because we perceive it so. What makes a place memorable? What design elements create character and identity?
By understanding the spirit of place, we learn to enhance our environment. As a designer, I most commonly apply this understanding to the connections that can occur between house and landscape, or between any building and nature. For it is at this margin, between the built and the un-built, where one has the best opportunity to shape people’s perception and pleasure in a place.
Their experience can be enhanced as simply as creating seating at just the right place to relax, providing calm, or creating a space that encourages engagement and socializing; or by providing a path with a clearly expressed purpose.
An understanding of Genus Loci has profound implications in creating a sense of place and is the animating principal in my work.