Courtyard Housing

Courtyard Housing

Located seven miles south of the historic city center of Guatemala City, the project consists of twelve courtyard housing typologies located within a new urban development. The overall site is an elevated plateau flanked by an ecological preserve to the southwest that affords commanding views of the existing city and surrounding landscape.

The design for the various patio houses is guided by two primary concerns. The first is the exploration of the courtyard as the principal organizing element of design. In Guatemala, the courtyard house is the basic building block of Antigua and continued to be used in the development of residential architecture throughout the country up until the Second World War. The new designs recover the use of the courtyard in the development of new housing typologies for the contemporary city. The courtyard is explored at a variety of scales and compositions; and in each instance, it is a lushly planted, well-defined, outdoor room that serves as an extension of the principal spaces of the house.

The second consideration is the desire to relate the individual courtyard houses to the surrounding context by carefully choreographing the designs in response to the particulars of the given site. Each new house capitalizes on the urban setting by creating a unique sequence of indoor/outdoor spaces that often culminate in loggias that provide dramatic framed views of the iconic Volcanoes in the distance.

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Guatemala

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Fellig House

Fellig House

The project involved the remodeling of an existing 1950s duplex located in Coral Gables, Florida. Purchased by a single family, the owners wanted to transform the existing compartmentalized structure into an open plan capable of meeting the needs of their growing family. To this end, the design reconfigures the existing building, capitalizing on the long-span truss system to open-up the upper floor and create a new living/dining space. This room, flanked on one side by terraces that open to the garden and on the other by secondary program including a kitchen and bathroom, becomes the most important space of the new house.

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Coconut Grove House

Coconut Grove House

The project includes the restoration and addition of an existing Florida modern house located on a bay front lot in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Built in 1955, the original house was composed of a two-storey volume set perpendicular to Biscayne Bay, with an attached one-storey wing, entry and detached carport pressed toward the street to define an irregularly-shaped interior courtyard. The main living spaces were located at ground level with bedrooms and an office on the second floor.

The new design reverses the existing sequence of spaces, placing the private rooms (i.e. bedrooms) at the ground level and relocating the principal stair to the front entry loggia. The stair culminates in the main living room with a carefully choreographed view of Biscayne Bay. This view, previously seen from a private corridor leading to the bedrooms, is now enjoyed as an integral part of the primary rooms of the house. A new exterior stair, adjacent to the second floor terrace, celebrates the seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living and descends to a keystone-clad pool deck that physically terminates at the water’s edge.

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Stirling Residence

Stirling Residence

The Stirling residence sits at the center of a large lot in Davie, Florida. The house is designed as a series of pavilions that define an outdoor courtyard and reflecting pool. The main pavilion houses the primary living spaces, while the secondary structures accommodate a master bedroom and guest bedroom wing.   The outdoor courtyard provides a framed view of the owner’s woodshop and the lush landscape in the distance.

— Location
Davie, Florida

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Completed September 2015

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Domino Park

Domino Park

 Maximo Gomez Park (Domino Park) is one of the most important urban spaces in the City of Miami. It serves as a social center for Little Havana, where locals gather in large groups to converse and play dominoes. The space is also frequented bye thousands of tourists each year as part of their cultural tours of Little Havana.

The primary use of the space is the playing of dominoes. While the existing stand of trees provides some shade, a variety of structures have been erected to protect players from frequent rains, allowing them to play year round. The current structures are arranged in an ad-hoc manner that divides the space into a series of disconnected experiences.

The new design proposes an open-air, hypostyle hall that accommodates the existing landscape while providing a large, covered, public room that celebrates the daily spectacle of urban life.

— Location
Miami

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Completed September 2015

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Sela Square

Sela Square

Vibrant neighborhoods rely on a rich offering of public amenities that support diverse urban experiences. Public spaces, including parks and plazas, are particularly important urban rooms that provide opportunities for individuals to gather collectively, creating a sense of community.

The project proposes a new dog park for a burgeoning community just north of Miami’s Design District. The street edge is lined with a thin, pink, metal building that houses both a small café and public bathrooms. A large passage at the center of the building (modeled on the covered space of the traditional dog-trot typology) provides a covered entry as well as a space of gathering. At the center of the parcel is the dog park, developed with a secured edge composed of fixed seating and landscape. The spaces surrounding the dog park are flexible and meant to be used for a variety of activities including temporary food festivals, art exhibitions, movie nights, etc. The overall project is defined by a pink, metal, screen wall that serves to define a new, public, outdoor room for the city.

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7324 NW Miami Court, Miami, FL

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Completed September 2015

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2,200.00 sq.ft.

Alam Residence

Alam Residence

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Skylodge

Skylodge

Set atop of an elevated urban plateau, the new apartment provides a sequence of choreographed views of the surrounding landscape. Working within an exiting structure, the project composes the home into two distinct realms: a public wing for entertaining and a private enclave for the nuclear family. The public rooms, flanked by a large, landscaped terrace, face south culminating in views of the Agua Volcano in the distance. The private bedrooms, situated towards the north, are arranged around a central, sky-lit library that serves to bring light to the center of the house as well as provide a space of circulation and gathering for the family.

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Cape Dutch House

Cape Dutch House

The Cape Dutch Village was one of a number of villages planned for the City of Coral Gables by developer George Merrick in the 1920s to add diversity to its predominantly Mediterranean homes. The assemblage of houses was designed by Marion Sims Wyeth and constructed by the American Building Corporation just prior to the hurricane of 1926. The Village was patterned on the early farm houses of the Dutch colonists who settled in Cape Town, South Africa in the seventeenth century. Four of the houses are clustered in a walled compound bounded by Maya Avenue on the east; and the fifth is a freestanding structure located on the corner of Maya Avenue and Le Jeune Road.

The project involved the complete restoration of the historic house and included the design of a stoep- an elevated covered terrace, originally proposed along the rear façade of the house but never built, as well as the design of a new garden and outbuildings.

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Kerwood Residence

Kerwood Residence

The addition to an existing 1960s residence in Coral Gables explores the theme of living in the tropics and seeks to blur the seams between interior and exterior. The new south-facing porch is constructed with exposed concrete paneling, deep overhangs, and teak screen doors that allow the owners to manipulate the qualities of light within the space. The porch provides much needed shade for the interior while extending the existing rooms (both physically and visually) towards the garden.

A system of stepped terraces and landscaped planters provides a transition from the house to the new pool and garden; while a thin reflecting pond, set at the seam of the existing residence and the new addition, provides a choreographed moment for the collection of rain that frequently falls from the deep overhangs during the wet season.

Concrete and wood are explored in a variety of forms and textures to produce a palette that weathers gracefully over time, integrating itself to the lush, tropical landscape beyond.

— Location
Coral Gables, FL

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Completed April 2016

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