Glass walls ensure the presence of the environment is felt throughout the home
The owners wanted a 2000 sq ft modern house that was filled with natural light and open to the exterior. The property is a narrow lot located in an older neighbourhood built prior to flood regulations. The surrounding single family residences are predominantly small one storey slab on grade concrete block or wood frame construction.
The design intertwines interior and exterior space maximizing opportunities for openness to the outside. In addition to the many walls of glass, ceilings in all main spaces are lifted above clerestories and roof overhangs are minimized in order to maximize the views and the feeling of openness.
Issues related to energy efficiency, economy, and stability are major considerations in a glass house. The modular design uses a 16 sq ft steel frame and long span steel roof deck to cost effectively resist the high wind loads in this tropical hurricane-prone region without the need for solid walls to stiffen the structure. High performance glass and mechanical systems are utilized to meet stringent energy codes.
Flood regulations require this house to be elevated approximately five feet above the surrounding houses. To respect the scale of the neighbourhood and still comply with flood requirements the garage and a gate house are placed on the street façade with travel up to floor level through the terraced entry garden. The glass studio pavilion brings presence to the street and provides balance between solidity and openness. The specimen gold tree was saved and incorporated into the design as a veil for the studio.
With the terraced entry garden, entry court, pool area, expansive views of sky and distant vegetation and smaller views into screening vegetation from bathroom vanities and showers; in moving from space to space, or at rest, one always feels the presence of the exterior environment.