Magnificent Miami: Homes to Covet in the City or on the Beach
These breathtaking mansions in and around Miami offer a healthy mix of glamor, art, modernist and art deco heritage and contemporary design – making us dream of sunny Florida beaches.
Miami homes can have it all – glamor, architectural experimentation, lush gardens and tropical climates. There’s little this American city doesn’t, offering a wide array of art galleries, Art Deco and Modernist architectural heritage, and long, sunny sandy beaches. It balances city and ocean with ease, a contemporary hub for doing business, and a poolside spot to enjoy a cocktail (often at the same time). This approach is often reflected in the magnificent private residences of the city. Here we bring together some of the best homes in Miami, the city, and the surrounding area; homes in which to live, covet and be inspired by.
Terracine by SAOTA
Photography: Adam Letch
This striking family home is intrinsically linked and inspired by its location, just off the Miami waterfront in the affluent Golden Beach neighborhood. Situated on a narrow strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west, and named Terracina, the house is designed by the South African architectural firm SAOTA and merges a response to its distinctive background and the client’s love for art. The architects oriented the house towards the long sea views, opening it through expansive glazing and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring the interior and exterior together seamlessly. The structure occupies the inner side of the pie-shaped plot, in order to allow larger terraced areas towards the water element.
Bal Harbor House by Chad Oppenheim
Photography: Kris Tamburello
When Shlomy Alexander and his son Oren bought the last vacant lot in Bal Harbor, an exclusive neighborhood just north of Miami Beach, in 2012, they knew they wanted to create something that was both spectacular and comfortable. The site was unique in that it seemed to connect two worlds – the front faces some of the most desirable real estate in the United States, while the rear overlooks Biscayne Bay and the park’s pristine mangrove swamp. of Oleta River State. Watch the sunset, and pelicans and dolphins might just appear, completely unfazed by the nearby town. The Alexander’s wanted to build a home that embraces the duality of Miami’s subtropical setting, both its growing urbanity and its natural beauty. They approached architect Chad Oppenheim, who had also designed his own waterfront home in Miami. “I learned a lot from living in a house that I designed,” he says. “You have to create the most incredible space possible. ” Additional writing: Bill Kearney
Casa Bahia by Alejandro Landes
Photography: Joe Fletcher
If you’ve ever enjoyed a haiku, you know that constraints can lead to controlled elegance. When Alejandro Landes started working on designs for a waterfront house in Coconut Grove, a southern suburb of Miami, he knew it had to be fantastic. But he also knew he faced a number of challenges: The house had to fit on a peninsula of less than an acre and had to comply with strict Miami building codes limiting windows to southern exposures and insisting on the fact that the first floor is well above the sea level. And, oh yes, Landes is not an architect. “This is my first conception,” he admits. Although he has no formal training in architecture, as a director he is someone who has thought a lot about space, sight lines, shape, color, depth of field and framing. Born in São Paulo, to an Ecuadorian father and a Colombian mother, Landes grew up mainly in Ecuador and attended Brown University in the United States, where he studied politics and economics, engaging in a few architecture course. For this house, Landes did what any author would do; he made the project very personal. The resulting Casa Bahia, a 20,000 square foot Modernist vision with significant Japanese and tropical Modernist influences, faces the vast expanse of Biscayne Bay. Everywhere you look around the house there seem to be framed shots, long lines of sight, a restricted color palette, and a careful tension of symmetry and asymmetry. Additional writing: Bill Kearney
DelRay Beach House by Sanchez + Coleman
When Christopher Coleman of Miami-based architecture studio Sanchez + Coleman stumbled across a tropical Modernist home for sale in DelRay Beach while on vacation, he jumped at the chance for a makeover. The mid-century home, originally built in 1956 in this popular stretch of Florida, was nestled in a tropical hamlet qiuet, ready to buy – it quickly became his project and second home. The house spans some 2,400 square feet and includes a large garden, rich in mature trees and plantations, as well as a paved living room and dining terrace. Large windows in the open plan living space, two generous bedrooms, and a separate master bedroom with its own private outdoor space, meant residents could connect with nature all over the house.
House of the way of the sun by Christian Wassmann
Photography: Todd Eberle
So many houses today are hermetically closed to their environment. That’s not the case for New York architect Christian Wassmann’s Sun Path House, a three-story cast-in-place concrete extension of a renovated 1930s bungalow in Miami Beach. Its rounded central wall – out of which the rest of the 540-square-foot structure is cantilevered – at its top traces the curving path of the sun on the longest day of the year. “In and around the house, you are constantly aware that the sun is doing something to you,” said Wassmann, who likes to talk about the “cosmic influence” on his work. The spiral wall, which contains a staircase and a fireplace (for a pizza oven), is soft at first, then tightly rounded, like a treble clef in a score. Wassmann’s client, restaurateur Frank Prisinzano (who owns famous New York restaurants Frank, Lil ‘Frankie’s, Sauce and Supper) requested a treehouse. The twisting core serves as a chest, while the rest of the structure – a glazed central floor containing a master bedroom, an open plan kitchen and dining area on the ground floor, and a roof terrace (where the wall reflects light on sunbathing) – is surrounded by palm trees and plants of the plot, as well as vines growing on the side of the house along wire ropes. Indeed, the house is more the experience of what surrounds it than of what is inside. Additional writing: Sam Lubell
Tarpon Bend Residence by Strang Design
Photography: Kris Tamburello
Nestled among tropical foliage in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this new family home is the latest residential work from Miami-based architectural firm Strang Design. Its balanced and contemporary mix of hard materials (mainly concrete and rough keystone) and a soft natural environment (in the form of a rich architectural garden) define this modernist-inspired house. It embodies the explorations of studio founder Max Strang on “regional or environmental modernism by adapting a rectilinear framework with site and climate specific considerations”. Located by the river, the house is spacious and combines generous and flowing interiors with large openings offering views around every corner. Courtyards, paved walkways and patios, as well as a swimming pool, allow residents to enjoy a continuous indoor / outdoor lifestyle throughout the year. One of the main goals of the clients was to have a home that felt modern but also in harmony with its surroundings, and made the most of the greenery and context of the site.