Pearl Press (January 2020)
First Edition. Signed.
As new in paperback.
The Alchemy of Architecture: Memories and Insights from Ken Tate by Ken and Duke Tate is
celebrated architect Ken Tate’s creative memoir about his life.
Beginning with his days growing up in Columbus, Mississippi where he was surrounded by beautiful Greek Revival houses, the
book journeys through Ken’s upbringing as a creative adolescent to his early days at Georgia
Institute of Technology in Atlanta where he started his architectural collegiate career. There Ken
struggled to keep up with the hard-edged modernism being taught in school and longed to design
beautiful houses with soul.
His quest led him on to Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama,
where he found what he was looking for in two creative professors, Jim Jones and Lewis Lanter,
who mentored him. That tutelage led him to write his architectural thesis Architecture in Search
of a Soul. Following graduation from Auburn, Ken journeyed to work for eccentric talent Bruce
Goff in Texas and afterwards for Sambo Mockbee in Jackson, Mississippi. He established his
own firm, Ken Tate Architect, in 1984 in Jackson, Mississippi, which began a lifelong career of
designing houses in an alchemical way where an inner essence was breathed into them.
Full of rich detail and texture, the book follows Ken’s 35-year career from Jackson to New Orleans and
on to Palm Beach where the firm has opened their second office. Covering his approach to
design, how architecture relates to cinema and photography, advice, reflections and even
epiphanies, the book is a must read for any fan of the profession. The book features many black
and white photos taken over Ken’s life and career.
DUKE TATE was born in Flowood, Mississippi and raised by a family of artists and dreamers. He
attended the preppy Kent School in the lush Housatonic Valley of Connecticut for high school
and went to college at The University of Mississippi and The University of New Orleans. Duke
manages his father Ken Tate’s Palm Beach architectural office. They recently wrote their first
book together, The Alchemy of Architecture: Memories and Insights from Ken Tate. His hobbies
include traveling, fly fishing, writing, cooking and reading.
Born in Columbus, Mississippi, acclaimed architect KEN TATE finds truth, beauty and soul in
architecture. Over his 35-year career, Ken has designed over 70 houses in 16 states and the
Caribbean and been published extensively in magazines and books. The first four monographs of
his architectural work were published by Images Publishing Company. In 2019, he was awarded a Mizner Award from the Florida Chapter of the ICAA for a single residence over 10,000 square
feet. Dividing his time between New Orleans and Palm Beach where his two offices are located,
he enjoys the beach, looking at houses, painting and writing.