Landscape architect Raymond Jungles is the man behind many of Miami’s most alluring spaces. An Omaha native and disciple of Brazilian modernist Roberto Burle Marx, Jungles set up shop in Miami in the ’80s and has since stamped his green thumbprint all over town. His recent projects include the rooftop garden of the New World Symphony’s new Miami Beach home and the “urban glade” fronting the 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage.
His current project, working alongside Danish architect Bjarke Ingels on a 20-story residential tower to replace the luxurious Grand Bay hotel in Coconut Grove, anchors my profile of Jungles in the new issue of Ocean Drive. Here’s an excerpt:
Dressed in white linen pants, a light, brown shirt – untucked, sleeves rolled up just above the wrists – and suede loafers, Raymond Jungles stops mid-sentence at a muted rumble of thunder. “We should sit over here so we can hear the rain,” he says, sliding the glass door of his conference room open. The vista is a small garden at the edge of the Miami river, a profusion of native vegetation around a heavy stone table, slicked with rain. Beyond, the towers of downtown rise against the overcast sky.
Again, thunder intervenes. This time it’s a sudden crack followed by an explosion. Jungles exhales sharply. It’s an expression of his delight at this particular show of force by nature, and it’s a hint at what fuels his pursuit of the ideal “garden experience” as one of the top landscape architects in the country.
To read the full piece online, check out the digital edition of Ocean Drive’s July-August 2012 issue, pages 204-206. Here are a few slides of Jungles’ local work from his website.