How To Connect Natural And Built Environments Like A Pro


Photo: Trevor Mein, Courtesy Scott Mitchell Studio

Light and shadow. Concrete and glass. Often, the most impactful indoor-outdoor designs come down to simple dualities—a hallmark of architect Scott Mitchell’s projects. In celebration of his work’s first volume (Scott Mitchell Houses, Rizzoli, May 2020), we asked the California architect to speak to his distinct approach to connecting the natural and built environments.

Best way to bring nature in: With deep overhangs and a continuity of material planes that blur the boundary between interior and exterior spaces.

Design should be experienced: As a narrative. As with film or music, the journey begins with the arrival sequence. From there, there is less a concern for a formality gradient as for a flowing connectivity of spaces.

Dream project: A public aquarium.

Up next: A boutique hotel on Phillip Island, Australia, and a modern farm outside Toronto, Canada.

Every home needs: The psychology of shelter. A house should be a safe and comfortable harbor from the world.

Photo: Steven Shaw