Completed by architects Bryden Wood and located in Ponte Verde Beach, Florida, the Beach Shack is fitted with innovative features, such as a retractable hydraulic staircase, and sustainable elements.
The western facade faces the street and, with the semi-interior garden, was built to act as a separate area from the rest of the house to offer a private space for contemplation. Large precast panels with portholes help to shelter the interior from the sun as it moves throughout the day, whilst maintaining lighting conditions. To juxtapose this, the east facade is fully glazed and composed of aluminum-oak sliding doors, window panels that open up to the landscape, and Alaskan yellow cedar louvred panels that help control the level of light inside.
With careful attention to the control of the direct sunlight and reduction in solar heat gains through the use of integrated PV panels in all facades, the house is energy efficient and close to zero emissions.
The two symmetrical wings extend from a central foyer/entrance and create panoramic views of the ocean, which is echoed by the option to flow through the internal areas. The open foyer connects the kitchen, living room and library as a ‘single continuous, fluid space’.
The exposed structural surfaces and polished concrete floor is softened by deep timber mullions, white walls and colourful furnishings. The interior’s approach is minimalistic, yet high-tech, as guests are met by the retractable hydraulic-powered staircase. The stairs are operated by two hydraulic engine cylinders that can lift up to provide more space to host guests and events. The industrial background of the owners inspired the design, and the Beach Shack was built by an experienced ocean-front residential construction team - including nautical engineers and fabricators.
Although the weather is serene in the spring and summer months, the area is still prone to Caribbean hurricanes. With this in mind, the house was designed to withstand winds over 140mph. Also, paying consideration to the surrounding environment of the site, landscape designer Ben Dinkins planted species that naturally occur in the region to blend well with the existing beach vegetation. To further reduce any environmental damage, the use of deep orange lighting was selected to ensure that turtles during their reproductive cycles are not disturbed by the lights at night.