The Design Inspiration Behind Alys Beach: Where Creative Minds Converge
Publication By: StyleBlue Print Words By: Alex Hendrickson Images By: Jackie Ward

A tiny town in Florida’s panhandle region, which made its first appearance as a destination known for fresh design approached with an unmatched level of deliberateness and care in 2003, Alys Beach is home to arresting architecture that is rivaled only by its natural surroundings.

At the core of the town is an appreciation and understanding of livability and community, ideals put forth by the Stephens family, founders of the Birmingham-based EBSCO Industries, who purchased the 158-acre seaside town at an auction in the late 1970s. “The name choice was something that took quite a long time, but we came up with Alys Beach as a tribute to my mother, who generated in us a love of the Florida coast,” Dell Brooke, daughter of Elton and Alys Stephens, shares.

The town’s vision came largely through working with Andrés Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ). Dell explains, “The concept is a mixture of ideas pulled from other areas of the world — the all-white façades are, of course, an incredibly unique part of that concept. We are interested in sustainability and paying attention to the area as not to do damage to it, but to promote the positives of it. The design is exceptional and unusual, and it seems to be a great success.”

The architecture — both structural and landscape — is one of the best examples of the confluence of creative minds to manufacture and uphold a singular style.


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