A three-story private residence situated at the edge of lush mangroves and the waters of Biscayne Bay. Program includes seven bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms, large open-plan living and family rooms, kitchen with breakfast area and adjacent formal dining, with all public areas of the home maintaining views to the water. The elevated floor plan provides ample outdoor covered areas that open onto a zero-entry pool at water’s edge.
At the edge of Gables by the Sea, a vacant property stood undeveloped and lined with palms. Its view, framed by a base of lush mangroves, was of Biscayne Bay, unprotected by Key Biscayne to the north and by Elliot Key to the south, and beyond to the Atlantic Ocean. With memories of their bamboo residence in Bali, Indonesia, the clients sought to recreate the warmth and comfort of a design infused and influenced by the surrounding natural habitat.
The living spaces of the three-story residence are elevated both for the practical purpose of avoiding rising flood levels and to provide the most captivating ocean views to the family spaces of the home. These spaces maintain their connection to the natural environment through the use of vast, horizontal, and unobstructed views to the water provided by an almost fully glazed ocean-facing eastern façade. This, combined with the strategic use of natural elements such as wood and stone on the interior of the home, strengthens the relationship between interior and exterior, and situates the design within the landscape.
On the exterior, durable Ipe wood ceilings create a natural canopy, mimicking the branch cover of a thick nest of mangroves. On the interior, a stained white oak ceiling and wall feature sprouts from the floor and envelopes the large family spaces with reclaimed Teak wood furniture. The lightness and movement of this wooden element is juxtaposed by various concrete and stone features that anchor the home, like a rock at water’s edge. At the threshold, residents and guests are received by a series of cascading ponds that act as a dynamic celebration of the sea beyond and coupled by the rear-yard’s interactive double height cascade.
Natural light is a key part of the home’s character, with large openings designed to enhance bright family spaces. Large cantilevers and light shelves are used to control harsh direct sunlight and provide a peaceful infiltration of light. These elements also serve to protect the home from unnecessary heat load and increase cross ventilation when opened. The residence is also designed to be solar-ready, with connection for future installation of photovoltaic panels, generator, and battery backup.