Paul R. Broadhurst BSc, MLA
Born in England, cycling and hiking as a young boy connected him to the outdoors. Enthralled by the mixing of human and natural history inherent to the British Countryside, its lived-in landscapes fueled Broadhursts’ passion for the natural world, his place in it and a wish to work within it.
With a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science (University of London) and an English-Speaking Union Fellowship gaining him a Master’s in Landscape Architecture in the US (University of Washington), Broadhurst was able to bring his vision to a larger stage.
A three-time award winner of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) Design Competition, Broadhurst has projects in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. His work has been featured locally, nationally, and internationally across media platforms, including television.
A lifelong environmentalist and humanist, Broadhurst’s passion is exploring the edges where nature and man meet. It is at this juncture where he sees the most valuable and exciting opportunities for design — to forge deeper and more meaningful connections between humans and the natural world. Broadhurst views design as a hopeful, life-affirming creative act.
Broadhurst resides with his partner in Seattle, but can often be found rambling the wilds of Orcas Island in Washington State.
Broadhurst + Associates
The animating principle of Seattle-based BROADHURST + ASSOCIATES, founded 2008, is to define the design elements that create character and identity and, with this awareness, bring them together to create a memorable sense of place.
This is evident through the thoughtful exploration of the relationship between organic and inorganic that exists in our work. While ground plane and built elements are confidently expressed, plant life and nature contribute a critical component to the internal dialogue of our designs.
In exploring the margin between the designed and natural world, we find that 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.