Location: Di Lido Island, Miami Beach, Florida, US
Size: 5,900 sf
Architects: Brillhart Architecture
Interior design: Karine Richard Interiors and Dunagan Diverio Design Group
Landscape architecture: Lewis & Nielsen Design
This project is on Dilido Island, part of a chain of manmade islands known as the Venetian Islands, located within the City of Miami Beach. As this was a bayside site, we wanted to heighten the experience of living on – or in – the water. We sought inspiration from the long-standing pool culture of Miami Beach, where the artificial and the natural come together in diverse and spectacular ways.
We incorporated two contrasting pool conditions into the project. The first is a 60’ long reflecting pool that occupies the full breadth and span of the side yard, which terminates on a transparent living area, offering a view of Biscayne Bay and the City skyline just beyond. This strategy conceptually allows the Bay to enter deep into the site, while simultaneously creating a private outdoor room, flanked by towering, tropical foliage on one side and the architecture on the other.
The approach was also carefully choreographed; one must wander through a thicket of trees along the street-side of the property to a large ipe door, which opens immediately on axis with the pool. The “L” shaped parti and screening of trees along the front also significantly minimized the visual impact of a 6,000 sf home on an interior 60’ x 180’ lot.
As the conditions on the waterfront were completely different, we designed a 15’ x 30’ infinity-edged pool, which allows the owners to feel as if they are essentially floating in the wide expanse of Biscayne Bay. Sliding glass doors seamlessly merge the indoor/outdoor space, with a panorama of the skyline in the distance.
All images Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture
Brillhart Architecture is borne out of a love for and facility with “making” things. In the natural course of development, tectonics, materiality and the logic of construction have become a primary focus of interest. Relying on a back-to-basics approach, we often study old models for future buildings, marrying archetypes and prototypes with new materials, fabrication and construction assemblies – all the while placing heavy emphasis on process as a means of furthering creativity and invention. The goal is to create a contemporary and dynamic building vocabulary that resuscitates the Ancient, celebrates the Modern, and foresees an architecture without big style.
Though the firm works on a diverse range of projects – including commercial and residential architecture as well as exhibitions, interiors, furniture, and other speculative research projects – a pragmatic building vocabulary, emphasis on tectonic potential, and ideas of craftsmanship are the common threads that link each project together.
The office also embraces a very hands-on, “knowledge-how” ethos that extends beyond design. Engaged in low-budget competitions, installations, and personal endeavors (such as our house) early on, we grew our firm by conceiving, designing, fabricating, assembling and constructing many things ourselves. In simply having to figure things out, we have become highly resourceful: regularly collaborating with outside disciplines; learning to maximize structural and material efficiencies; and seeking creative solutions to details that may be outside the industry defaults.
As a result, the firm has won numerous awards for design innovation, including AIA awards in 2008 and 2010, and competition winnings. Work has been featured in the New York Times, Wallpaper, Metropolis, Design Bureau, and the Miami Herald. Custom furniture pieces have also been included in the annual design show, Inventory, held during Design Miami and Art Basel.
The firm was founded by Jacob Brillhart in 2005, after he completed his Masters in Architecture from Columbia University. Jacob complements his practice by teaching design, freehand drawing, and architectural theory as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture. A Gabriel Prize finalist in 2006 and 2007 and a finalist for the 2010 Rome Prize in Architecture, Brillhart has also served as the Favrot Visiting Assistant Professor at Tulane University.
168 SE 1st STREET, SUITE 704
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843 367 5698
305 336 8126