KIORA HOUSE

coCONUT GROVE, FLORIDA

completion date: tbd

The design of this home began with an in-depth analysis of the local vernacular and the desire to respect the abundance of existing sub-tropical landscape. Located in the heart of Miami’s Coconut-Grove, the home reinforces the inherent relationship between architecture and landscape present throughout.

Built forms shape outdoor rooms and courtyards for the family to enjoy, while trees puncture openings in the roof, solidifying the homes place on the site. A constant dialogue between architecture and nature, it begs the question; what came first, the house, or the trees?

The home was inspired by the local vernacular including the barnacle, the I-house and other Florida cracker typologies. This re-interpretation provides the home with cultural significance yet architectural distinction. The spacious, L-shaped home celebrates the porch, a common architectural element found in the Florida vernacular, by elevating it to the second floor among the expansive tree canopies. Water features meander their way from the entry of the house and continue through to the rear, culminating at the swimming pool. Light and nature penetrate the home in order to reconnect the family with the outdoors.

Vertical flitch columns gradient closer together where there is a demand for privacy, such as in front of bedrooms, and depart to allow for natural light where privacy is less important. The result of which is a seemingly random composition of vertical elements that are very much calculated with purpose. Natural materials, such as exposed concrete, thermally treated wood, and fossilized coral reef articulate the facades. The house also employs chukum – an ancient Mayan stucco-like building material that requires the resin from the bark of the native Havardia albicans, or chukum tree. The combination of these earth-toned materials allows the home to naturally fuse, and not compete with the rich surrounding landscape.

The design of the home provides for the demand of a modern lifestyle, yet reconnects the family with nature and all within an unquestionable nostalgia.