Located on a corner site on Seaside’s Ruskin Place, this townhouse was rigorously modeled after the vernacular architecture of New Orleans’ French Quarter, its exterior façade completely composed of oversize French doors framed by plantation shutters. Like objects from a Giorgio de Chirico painting, the shutters can be manipulated to suggest a range of moods–from the friendly mingling of private and public space when opened, to a surreal and haunting sense of abandonment when closed. Generously-sized front and rear terraces underscore the structure’s allegiance to its urban context, while projecting a seductive Creole sensuality characteristic of colonial French architecture.
The light-filled interior is open and loft-like, designed to take maximum advantage of the house’s corner site. An open staircase provides circulation from the main living areas, located on the second floor ‘piano nobile,’ to the bedrooms on the third floor. A roof-top belvedere commands views of the neighborhood and the Gulf of Mexico, and features a spiral staircase which leads to a crowning pavilion that serves as a stage-like platform for a hot tub. Here, the upward ascension through the house ends in a grand, outdoor bath–a serene and private sanctuary set against the sky.