Architects and designers of national prominence have been coming to Mount Desert Island since the late nineteenth century to design houses, landscapes and other structures in one of this country’s most beautiful natural settings.

On Tuesday, August 9, architect Sarge Gardiner will join College of the Atlantic Charles Eliot Professor of Ecological Planning, Policy, and Design Isabel Mancinelli at COA’s weekly Coffee and Conversation salon to discuss this intriguing aspect of local history. The event begins at 9 a.m. at Deering Common Community Center, and is free and open to the public.

Gardiner, a partner with Robert A.M. Stern Architects, has long studied MDI architects such as William Ralph Emerson, Bruce Price, George Howe, and Robert A.M. Stern to understand how each architect responded to this distinct natural setting. He’ll share how their work reflects the contemporary architectural thought of their times as well as the broader economic and cultural forces shaping this country. Gardiner will also discuss the role of the Shingle Style, a unique American creation nurtured in this setting by three of the four architects presented.

Gardiner has vast experience in urban planning and architecture. His work includes a 55-acre master plan for the Southeast Federal Center, a mixed-use project on the Anacostia River in Washington, DC, and a 2,400-acre master plan for the Harmony Cove Resort and Village in Trelawny, Jamaica. His architectural projects include 30 Park Place, an 82-story tower in New York City which combines a 185-key five-star Four Seasons hotel with 157 top-end condominium apartments, the Century, a new 850,000-square-foot high-rise residential building in Los Angeles, apartment towers in New York City, and the LEED Platinum Caruthers Biotechnology Building at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

COA’s Coffee and Conversation Series spans the cultural, political and social issues shaping our world. Guest speakers include writers, scientists, business leaders and artists. Conversations take place weekly at College of the Atlantic’s Eden Street campus through August.