345 Westwood, Key Biscayne
Total Area: 3,600 sq ft
Architect: José Sanchez (Praxis)
The owners wanted a spacious, contemporary house that would be as open as possible but without compromising security and privacy at the same time. Surrounded by neighbors on four sides, the solution was a fully landscaped fenced compound with a spatial program that opens up towards pools and gardens.
The see-through volumes allow a continuous, uninterrupted 40-feet view, from the entrance foyer, through the formal living area to the pool. All these spaces are perceived to be within the built enclosure of the house.
The environmental transparencies at ground level and between spaces are important in passively cooling the house. The main space have differing material finishes and therefore differing heat gain and latency (water, grass, wood, concrete). As long as there are temperature differences between spaces, the living, dining, and pool become conduits for breezes that move in between , very much like how land and sea breezes are generated.
At the second story, impact resistant low-e sliding glass panels that can be adjusted to allow the desired amount of breeze and sunlight to pass through. Environmentally, the contiguous and interconnected space encourage the slightest breezes, whether they are prevailing and therefore air-movement is horizontal.
For the owner, it is the experiential serenity that unencumbered space, a gentle breeze, dappled sunlight and the hush of water rippling on a pool that is priceless in our dense and busy beach-scape.