subTropical architecture

(ur'ban), adj.- belonging to the city or
town; refined, polished or pertaining to a city; suave. 

(or'der), n.- regular arrangement; any methodical or established succession or
harmonious relation; method; system.

architecture that is appropriate to place is of considerable civic and cultural importance. Buildings communicate the essence of their place and time and it is no accident that cities with thoughtful, appropriate architecture are superior to those that do not.


This  is particularly true in a climate as explicit and superb as Florida’s as buildings in sunny,  sub-tropical climates should be very different in character than those in cold, wintery places. Sub-tropical environments make very specific architectural demands.


URBANoRDER/tampa’s  work is a retort to this fundamental architectural philosophy and celebrates the opportunity to acknowledge Florida's exceptional sub-tropical climate, culture, plantlife and lifestyle.


Our  work reduces the building's vocabulary to the essential, utilizes simple, geometric shapes, appropriate materials (concrete, glass, stucco, tile and block), large, protected openings (overhangs, awnings, shutters and louvers), light colors (with bold tropical accents), conditioned/transitional  indoor/outdoor spaces (porticos, loggias, terraces) and landscaping that is an integral part of the total design.

U/O/tampa’s goal is to meet its clients needs, budget, aspirations, and contribute to neighborhood, city and state.


5006 South Elberon Street

Tampa, Florida 33611

Phone: 813.832.5557

Email: jtoph@tampabay.rr.com




header artwork: Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) 1886-1965

URBANoRDER/tampa flickr photo site:


sketch at right:  Casa das Canoas (Canoes House) 1954, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012)

Influences and inspirations

Le Corbusier... was one of the best and most preeminent architects of all time.  He poineered modern architecture designing some of the most significant and extraordinary buildings ever built.  

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was a student and colleague of Corbu's and created the "tropical modern" style that became prevasive throughout South America and the tropical world in the 1950s and 1960s.

Burle Marx.. was a Brazilian landscape architect that designed the beautiful Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro and worked with Neimeyer on the design of Brasilia creating impressive urban/tropical/civic outdoor spaces and gardens.

richard meier
Rem Koolhaas
Sarasota School
Louis Barragan
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