Boca Grande Residence

April 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Located on a barrier island on the west coast of Florida, this private residence links vistas of the Charlotte Sound and the Gulf of Mexico by way of the pool running the length of its central axis. Conceived as an elevated oasis, the pool is bordered on the north and south with verdant planters, and beyond, porch-like living spaces offering cooling respite from the intensity of the sun. The visual connection to the water continues beneath the house as one makes their way to the beach; treading on the elevated walk hovering over the surface of the sand and beneath the filtered light passing thru the windows at the bottom of the pool above.

The texture and articulation of the materials is inspired by the natural forms found in the surrounding landscape; the gentle curve of the dunes, the delicate filigree of the palm fronds, the articulation of light as it passes thru the shading canopy of the native sea grapes. This approach to materiality is manifested throughout the entire project; from the simple, yet elegant beach-bungalow inspired finishes to, most noticeably, the treatment of the exterior layer of house. This exterior wall system is constructed as a series of layers pulled away from the mass of the structure that lighten the visual weight of the structure, while inviting light and air to flow. The outermost layer of the wall system is an ipe, left natural to gray out over time and blend into the lush surroundings.

The residence embodies the narrow barrier island’s inclination to protect while hovering between Gulf and Sound, and finds its place among lush vegetation as a vehicle for light, passage, and retreat between the expansive Gulf and the contained Sound.  The architecture blurs the boundaries between inside and out, creating an experience of layers in which one finds refuge, always veiled in awareness of the surrounding ocean, sound, sand, breezes, and sun.

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