Coral Gables Residence by Touzet Studio
The client for this house is a pioneer in the technology field and a committed modernist. The project is located on a waterfront site in Coral Gables, facing east, with views across Biscayne Bay to Downtown Miami and the barrier islands of Key Biscayne. The City of Coral Gables has a prescriptive zoning code that favors historical “styles” over contemporary design. This apparent conflict between our client’s fantasy of a modern home and the City’s classically-oriented design code informs the design. The “City-side” façade presents itself as two restrained stone-clad volumes – a “mask” clad in material very much identified with the architecture of Coral Gables. The lower volume is rough-hewn Florida Keystone and the larger, main volume is clad in honed Simena limestone. The mask is penetrated by only two openings on the western façade and a “frieze” of windows above. Even the sculptural roof is hidden from view of the street. The true nature of this house is expressed on the water side of the house – in the private realm where fantasies for a soaring roof and materials belonging to the present could be expressed. The City requirements of a sloping tiled roof were re-interpreted into a series of sloping planes that are floating above glass clerestories. Glass walls hold up the sculptural roof – which provide shade and protection to the extensive outdoor terraces.