The main theme of this modern home was that it would be aesthetically transitional…meaning it would be more modern than a traditional/beachy/Spanish-Mediterranean or bungalow, but also far less edgy than a home that was designed in the architectural vocabulary of a Streamline Moderne or say a “brutalist” home might be. We wanted this home to have straight lines yet also be warm and welcoming. This home consists of 6 walkable levels with the external massing of a typical split-level home. The home’s elevator stops at 5 of these levels while gaining access to the uppermost roof is via a small set of stairs. Levels two, three, four, five, and six offer views of the water while the roof-top decks (levels five and six) offer glimpses of the downtown Tampa skyline. Level five has an exterior shower so sunbathers can cool off while catching some rays on the roof, or if they’d prefer they can hang out in a designated shaded area. This level also provides plenty of space for exterior furniture and a built-in gas fire pit. The great room on level three faces the water with breathtakingly beautiful views of Seddon Channel through 10 feet of the 12 foot wall that faces the water. It opens via accordion-style “NanaWall” doors that open up to a front balcony that has a border of artificial grass for pets to feel at home 11 feet off the ground as they watch the boats and people go by.
The entire house vertically cascades in such a way that when you are in it all you see are the water views to the east and tree canopies to the west. Many people comment that while on level three, facing west provides a feeling of serenity as if the home was a tree house because all you see is the greenery of the tree tops. Cascading the home was critical to allow the architecture itself act as a privacy barrier between people walking down the sidewalk and the living room. Though the main view to the west is of the channel, it first has to jump over a sidewalk, a street, and then another sidewalk. The concept is that when someone is in the family room, there is a great sense of privacy because the sidewalks are entirely hidden from view. If the owners want to feel more connected to the neighborhood, they can always go people-watching on the balcony.
Circulation was a big theme in this house; the concept of how people move around the home both horizontally and vertically. People can easily get to each level with 7 or less stairs…even on the exterior. For example: if someone in the rear yard wanted to use the pool bath, they would walk up a small set of stairs and enter the home and the bathroom is right there. If people in the yard wanted to access the kitchen/dining area they would simply go up another half-level.
We were pretty vocal in working with the landscape designers in that we wanted the landscape on this project to mimic the modern lines of the building. Plants cascade down the front of the house as any other architectural element until they finally terminate at the ground plane. The more homogeneous we can make accessory design elements such as plants, landscaping, pools, etc. the more complete the architecture will be.
*In 2014, this home sold for $140/sf more than its nearest comparables and also had over 14,000 people walk through it during the Parade of Homes.