“This place really is in the middle of nowhere!” I mused to myself upon arrival at the Streamsong Resort, Yes, the resort is in a remote area, a very, very remote area in the heart of central Florida surrounded by thousands of acres of land sparsely dotted with a few phosphate plants and nothing else visible for miles. Even the up to date GPS in my car couldn’t find it when I set course for Streamsong, Florida. What I certainly didn’t anticipate after arriving and handing my car keys to the valet was that I was actually going to enjoy the remoteness of the resort.
I was pleasantly surprised at how my feelings changed about the remoteness of the location once I was greeted by the magnificent, uninterrupted vistas viewable from the Fragmentary Blue rooftop bar which was designed by Tampa-based architect Alberto Alfonso of Alfonso Architects, Inc . Blue skies as far as the eyes could see, and the poem ‘Fragmentary Blue’ by Robert Frost which graced the entry to the rooftop bar came alive for me – as I suspect the architect intended and expected when he created the architectural narrative that through its vocabulary of design, angles, materials and color all pointed to the vastness and beauty of the greatest span of blue referenced in Frost’s famous poem.
Why make so much of fragmentary blue
In here and there a bird, or butterfly,
Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,
When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?
Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)—
Though some savants make earth include the sky;
And blue so far above us comes so high,
It only gives our wish for blue a whet. – Robert Frost (1920)
As day eased into night, the glorious sun-lit views gave way to a shimmering, star-filled sky which blanketed the resort and could be enjoyed from the rooftop deck of the Fragmentary Blue bar as well as the guest rooms ( Which Alberto also designed.). A star-filled sky, one not diffused by city lights, was a very special gift for this star-gazer, and one that led me to appreciate the remoteness of the resort even more so.
The Architect Studies and Sketches the Story of the Land Time Had Forgotten
In preparation for designing the Mosaic Company’s Streamsong Resort‘s lodge, spa and restaurants – including Fragmentary Blue, Alberto walked the land, sketch pad and watercolors in hand carefully listening to the story this land had to share with him. This newly reclaimed and and beautifully restored land (thanks to the efforts of The Mosaic Company) which once had been mined for its precious phosphate, and which millions of years ago found itself submerged underwater as part of the prehistoric oceans – had many tales to tell.
Alberto studied the landscape and visually listened to the land’s geological history. A story that found what is now Streamsong, Florida “submerged in warm waters sheltering prehistoric marine life. Hornless rhinos and humpless camels wandered the shores. Their bones settled into deeply layered sediments, creating massive phosphate rock deposits.” This land of great phosphate reserves eventually became known as “Bone Valley”, and this is where the inspirational design story of Streamsong as we now know it begins. “The history of the land,” inspired Alberto to design, ” a vertical stacking program for the lodge that is reflected in four layers: Submersion (under water), Bank (where water meets land), Canopy (a sheltered aviary home at the top of the trees), and Sky.”
Watercolor Memories: The Artist Captures the Geological Inspiration for Fragmentary Blue
Fragmentary Blue Rooftop Photo Gallery