Nelson Brackin, born in Miami Beach, Florida, became aware of architecture at an early age. In his father’s library, he discovered Henry Russell Hitchcock’s book on Frank Lloyd Wright, In the Nature of Materials. Mesmerized by the photographs and drawings of Wright’s work, this treasure offered Nelson Brackin, as a youth of nine, immediate inspiration, and continues to do so today.
His maternal grandfather, the German artist Hans Fredrick Grohs , a 1919 Bauhaus master student and artist, and maternal grandmother opened his eyes to the Expressionist Architects Hans Poelzig, Fritz Höger, Bernhard Hoetger and Hugo Häring, all of whom his grandmother knew. The creative energy of first Wright, then these Expressionist architects carried a powerful imagery that triggered in Brackin a desire to seek an individual self-expression through architecture.
Nelson Brackin attended Auburn University where he met Professor Robert L. Faust. Through Faust, Brackin was introduced to the architecture of Bruce Goff. During the mid-70s, Brackin apprenticed for three and a half years with Goff in Tyler, Texas. Brackin worked on several projects with Goff, including the Mineola Community Center, the Donald Pollock house renovation for Laura and Joe Warriner, the art glass windows for the studio addition to the Joe Price house, named Shin’enKan, and the installation of the Bruce Goff exhibit at the Yellowstone Arts Center in Billings, Montana. Brackin also assisted in the preparation of the 1978 Bruce Goff portfolio publication and was honorably asked to photograph all of Goff’s compositions and drawings. Brackin accompanied Goff to the Roots Growth and Horizons of Organic Architecture conference in 1977, where he met Lloyd Wright, Eric Lloyd Wright, and Brian Spencer.
Nelson Brackin, an accomplished architect, photographer, writer, and publisher, has worked for several Atlanta, Georgia architectural firms involved in a wide variety of project types including retail, hospitality, entertainment and residential. This experience includes such projects as Chastain Park Amphitheater, Emory University Bookstore, Panavision Atlanta Studio, and residential projects including the Creigh/Roll Residence, the Almand Residence, and the DeGuire Residence. His work has been published in national and international periodicals, including Architecture + Urbanism, Architectural Record, and Architectural Digest, among others.
Nelson Brackin has been a member of the Friends of Kebyar since 1983, serving from 1995 to 2014 on the Friends of Kebyar Board of Directors and from 2000 to 2014 as the second president of the organization. Nelson Brackin has served as editor for six of the organization’s journals. Along with Robert L. Faust and Larry Wayne Grantham, Brackin has assisted in the planning and hosted several of the annual Friends of Kebyar Southeast (FOKSE) gatherings held at Auburn University between 1989 and 2006. In 1999, Brackin planned and hosted, with Jim Fox, the Highlands, North Carolina FOKSE weekend gathering and tour, which brought Kebyar fans from across the country to the southern Appalachian Mountains. Nelson Brackin also organized four of the ten Friends of Kebyar celebrations, being the 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2010 celebrations, which brought architects together from Europe, Australia, and the Americas.
Recently, Nelson Brackin assisted the author, Virginia McAlester with the update to A Field Guide to American Homes which was published in 2014. The update will include chapters on Ranch Houses, Mid-Century Modern Houses, and Organic Architecture Houses, among others.
Nelson Brackin now resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his three daughters. He lectures on architecture, teaches a class called Discover Architecture to elementary school children, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, and serves as a tour guide at Auldbrass, the South Carolina plantation designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, with the Beaufort County Open Land Trust. Brackin continues to create architecture with organic beauty and value for his clients, based on the organic principles of truth and integrity.
Projects worked on while with Bruce Goff Architect.