Curbed Young Guns, now in its first year, aims to identify promising up-and-coming talent (35 and under) in the fields of architecture, interior design, and urban development. For the next few weeks, Curbed National will run individual stories on each Young Gun; here's a look at a member of the Class of 2013 based in Miami:
For Curbed Young Gun Andres Arcila, landscape design wasn't a long-held dream so much as the natural progression of his career. Arcila, 33, trained in architecture at Florida International University?where he was mentored by noted local architect Rene Gonzalez?and Parsons and began working at architecture firms. But when he decided to return to South Florida after the birth of his first child, Arcila didn't want to take a traditional architecture job, so instead he turned to landscape design, joining Raymond Jungles. He intended his move to Florida to be temporary, but large projects?like 1111 Lincoln Road?kept coming his way. When he and the rest of the firm's senior staff were let go from Raymond Jungles in 2009, Arcila followed a long-time goal of starting his own company and opened Naturalficial. (Arcila is in the process of becoming licensed as a landscape architect.)
"When you're first starting off, people always have a kind of hesitation as to whether you're able to do the same kind of work you were doing for the company on your own," Arcila explains, but shortly after he launched his own firm, a few local architects gave him the opportunity to demonstrate that he could. A booming market hasn't hurt: "The environment here in Miami now, it's kind of crazy. It appears as if?nothing really happened a couple of years ago with the economy." Arcila's portfolio includes residential and hospitality projects.