The client for this house is a pioneer in the technology field and a committed modernist. The project is located on a waterfront site in Coral Gables, facing east, with views across Biscayne Bay to Downtown Miami and the barrier islands of Key Biscayne.
The City of Coral Gables has a prescriptive zoning code that favors historical “styles” over contemporary design. This apparent conflict between our client’s fantasy of a modern home and the City’s classically-oriented design code helped to inform the design.
The “City-side” façade presents itself as two restrained stone-clad volumes – a “mask” clad in material very much identified with the architecture of Coral Gables. The lower volume is rough-hewn Florida Keystone and the larger, main volume is clad in honed limestone. The mask is penetrated by only two openings on the western façade and a “frieze” of windows above. Very little of the house is visible from the street – even the thrust of the sculptural roof is hidden from view.
On the “Bay-side” the true nature of the house and the Client’s desire for soaring roofs, glass walls and building materials of our time are openly expressed. The City’s requirement of sloping tiled roofs was re-interpreted in a series of sloping planes, their upper surfaces clad in photovoltaic cells, floating above glass walls.