Relaxing haven in urban surroundings

Chad Oppenheim
23 Dec 2009

Chad Openheim’s 22,000 sq ft Ilonabay ensures maximum comfort in a hectic context

Situated amid a fabric of buildings of greatly varied massing and scale, Ilonabay acts as both an amplifier and filter of its urban context. The building displays versatility through its façade compositions as well as dynamic manipulations of void and solid elements.

Eight four-storey town homes are entered directly from street level and relate to the pedestrian realm in scale and restraint. A three-storey penthouse crowns the composition framing strategic views of Biscayne Bay and the downtown Miami skyline. The result of these various components is achieved through the orchestration of glass, plastered concrete, and aluminium. The fused entity avoids recognisable typological references while nevertheless achieving an alluring and evocative familiarity.

Aromatic gardens enfold the property, achieving in their rhythm and verticality a synergetic confluence with the dynamic forms of the architecture. The prominent positioning of water is essential to the building’s force. A rooftop pool cantilevers from the building’s western face disappearing into Biscayne Bay. Another water basin, this one at ground level, is formed by a depression at landing of the facade. All aspects of the project are entwined and intended to induce maximum relaxation, enjoyment and contentment, a veritable escape from its very urban and well connected context.

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