Belvedere HouseEdit profile
Slipped into a narrow lot adjacent to the Venetian Causeway, the bridge that connects Miami and Miami Beach, the Belvedere House turns its back on the traffic and overhead power lines along the south side. To the north, this long, rectangular single-family residence opens onto a sideyard garden that extends the interior of the home to the waterfront and offers panoramic views from the rooftop and exterior belvedere. With the narrow lot divided equally into garden and the 6,400 square foot home, Belvedere House represents a fresh take on Florida’s indoor/outdoor living. The garden is a series of outdoor rooms laid out in a line: a drive court leads to a bridged entrance over a carp and lily pond, continues past a two-story porch and outdoor living room, along a narrow, infinity-edge lap pool, then finally arrives at a dock in the waters of Biscayne Bay. The three-story belvedere breaks the horizontal flow from the street to the bay. On the ground level, the belvedere forms a covered entrance to an interior atrium and offers a lookout over the pool area. On the second level, the belvedere serves as an outdoor living room with a spiral stair to the roof deck offering views of the surrouding water and cityscapes. Just off the belvedere, at the main entrance, a second staircase spirals upward inside the two-story, interior atrium. An abstracted sea shell, the sculputural stair is the focal point of the long, indoor sequence of high-ceilinged rooms. Though built of poured-in-place concrete and concrete block, with custom metal fabrication, the Belvedere house appears as light and airy as the sun glinting off the bay. Long and narrow, like a train car on the sea, the home allows natural light to flood the room in the daytime, while cross-ventilation invites breezes off the water day and night. French doors line the north, east, and west sides, allowing the house to be completely open to the garden, patio, and bay. This open spirit infuses the interior space as well. For instance, the sole divider between the kitchen and dining room is a Calcutta gold marble kitchen counter. The dining and living areas are separated only by a central fireplace that opens on both sides and occupies a mere 1/3 of the width of the room, leaving ample room for movement between spaces. On the second floor, a corridor to the south blocks the noise of traffic while eight-foot glass doors open onto individual balconies with views of the garden to the north, Miami Beach to the east, and Miami to the west. This modern home was designed to provide a seamless transition to Florida's tropical climate, embodying the art of living in the tropics.