Nature gave Los Angeles architect Randall Stout a vision. Its destruction gave him a calling.
Known for buildings that curved and swooped, drawing comparisons to birds and water, Stout sought to make each of his designs "respond to its place," he once told an interviewer. He championed green buildings and green energy before they were household words.
His impulses grew from his Tennessee childhood in the Great Smoky Mountains. He loved the Smokies' soaring canopies of hemlocks and ancient, soft contours — so different from the bold, jagged ranges out West, he would say.
But those childhood idylls also made him witness to the Smokies' defilement by industrial...