484 Golden Beach
FLORIDA …. -Sea and Sun ….. Our inspirations. -Water and Light(ness) ….. Our tools. KEY CHOICES -Inside / Outside Continuity -Light and Lightness -Water as Major Component INSIDE / OUTSIDE CONTINUITY First-Floor: - By opening sliding-glass-doors on four sides it converts the living area into a covered outdoor-space (5, 7). - Fixed-glass cut North and South gardens into interior / exterior spaces. Mirrored panels at the end of gardens extend the perspective to infinity, the reflection mixing inside / outside into one image. - Guest-bedrooms: two out of four sides (of each room) are a glass-wall and open onto private gardens. Transoms and floor to ceiling corner windows on remaining walls have sky and garden views. Second-Floor: - Hallway: a single-glass wall fronting the covered grass terrace is accessible from the children’s playroom (10). - Master bedroom: East and West walls are all glass fronting gardens and pond (8, 15). Third-Floor: - All East, North and South sides are glass-walls accessing two private terraces and the main roof-top grass terrace. The West wall has a large picture-frame window abuting a reflective infinity-edge pond (9). LIGHT AND LIGHTNESS Light and Transparency: -Obviously extensive use of glass lets light in. However, two major problems (besides structural) arise from the use of glass: Privacy and green-house effect. 1 - Privacy: Though one can see through the house from inside (into upper-levels)(14) or from outside and even from the street, only the master bedroom’s East-side requires window treatment for privacy. This was achieved by proper setbacks of upper floors, strategically located private gardens for guest-rooms and appropriate location and height of visual barriers (brise-soleil at kitchen (3), North and South third-floor terraces (2, 1); solid walls on part of North two bedrooms.(2) As for interior privacy, though volumes are very open, when needed, spaces are clearly defined (i.e., the Family-room, with its raised floor and lowered ceiling (14) and the foyer with its see-through divider (13)) and made private: the opening in the kitchen’s West cabinetry, at five feet six inches, allows complete view unto living areas from the kitchen. From all living areas, one can see through the kitchen, all the way to the front garden (13) but cannot see inside the kitchen work-area. 2 - Green-House Effect is Avoided by: • Large Overhangs: Third-floor: North, South and West.(1, 2, 3) Second-floor: West grass terrace. (10) First-floor: East and South. (1, 3) • Brise-Soleil: Kitchen (3), third-floor terraces, North and South. (1, 2) • Adequate Landscaping at second-floor blocking West sun: Terrace second-floor and West master bedroom. (10, 15) • Avoiding non-protected openings on the South (master bedroom) (1) and more so on the West. (Guest rooms first-floor, and all of third-floor) • Large openings on North side ( all of office North side). (2) Lightness: - Especially in hurricane zones, a very high ratio of openings imposes a very sturdy structure, requiring massive beams. The effect of lightness has been achieved by upturning tie-beams (used as seating) and pushing them away from the perimeter, leaving only the thickness of the slabs visible. To increase the feeling of lightness, the slabs are “floating “12` to 16` above solid walls.(1, 4) This concept has been carried inside where solid partitions stop before ceilings and are extended by transparent material. (15) Finally, the impression of luminosity and lightness is enhanced by the openness of the volumes and the choice of white as a sole color. WATER Water has been selected as a major feature of the house. It is used for the feeling of serenity and its reflective properties when still (reflective-pond), its transparency when in volume (swimming-pool) and its energy, changing appearance and sound when in motion (cascade-ripple effect). 1: Ground-floor reflective pond: reflecting all of the North side, the pond wraps around the garage, accessible by a grated bridged and abuts the living areas. (5) 2: To visually experience water in 3 dimensions, the swimming pool has been partially raised above ground in a transparent container. (6, 3) The pool abuts the kichen creating a transparent railing when the sliding glass doors are opened. The pool can overflow its transparent walls (water “disappears` into a trough covered by a grating system and stones) (3, 6). The Jacuzzi, as part of the pool, is isolated by a transparent partition, invisible in the water. When the Jacuzzi is not in use, its level is 6` higher than the pool and overflows into it. 3: The second floor’s reflective pond, in front of the Master bedroom can cascade into the swimming pool just in front of the Jacuzzi (3, 6), creating a transparent divider for people inside the Jacuzzi. At a push of a button, the level of the water is lowered by 6`, revealing a platform invisible under normal conditions and usable as a dry terrace (8). 4: Third level reflecting pond: coming up the stairs, one can but see the large picture window framing the pond (9). Its infinity edge, gives the image of a waterfall to below. SPECIAL FEATURES 1: Office (12): a walkway over the reflective pond (5) leads to an office with its private entrance. The office is an opened parallelepiped, suspended at mezzanine level above the reflective pond and penetrates the main volume glass wall (11); on its opposite side of the penetration, the office is enclosed by a glass system (2, 12). 2: Perimeter walls : To reduce the wind pressure, the property is enclosed with an opened decorative grid (1) (repeated on the same side at 2nd and 3rd floors(8)) and by an alternance of solid walls and openings (2); under normal weather, translucent panels slide from behind the solid portions to complete a total enclosure (5). 3: Staircase: For lightness and transparency, the staircase structure has been eliminated (no stringers). The steps are half-inch steel plates, spanning between a central column and the railing made of vertical flat-bars. For safety, gaps are closed with steel cables and transparent panels (14). *Numbers in parentheses corresond to numbered pictures.


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