Distinctive Sewall Florida Residence by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects


This spacious 12,300-square foot home designed by Hughes Umbanhowar has sophisticated details, yet is a comfortable residence.

A lofty 12,300-square foot house in Sewall Point, Florida

Hughes Umbanhowar Architects won the 2011 AIAFL Masonry Building of the Year for this River Road home in Sewall Point, Florida. The 12,300-square foot house combines geometric shapes, glass and a sliding window wall to create a dramatic, yet comfortable residence.

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
All photography © Steven Brooke

The framed Mahogany windows reflect and refract light from the morning sun, and aluminum louvers shield the interior from harsh afternoon sun.

A wide limestone stairway, separated by a railing, leads to the main entrance. Two smaller stairways provide access to a portioned lounge area to one side of the pool. The underground pool has no patio except for a small paved area for lounge chairs.

The house offers plenty of space for a young family and makes the best use of the two-acre water-front space. The residence, built on a hillside overlooking the water, employs a series of courtyards and decks to highlight the almost transparent interior.

Interlocking sections are joined by a translucent lengthwise axis. Positive and negative structures are placed next to each other to create architectural interest while maintaining a livable space. A glass-enclosed walkway connects the two second-floor towers.

One of the indoor living spaces has a leather sofa and small, low-slung black table in front of a partition with built-in fireplace. Informal white leather chairs are placed around the perimeter of the area. A sliding glass door leads to an outdoor deck/lounge.

The custom-made kitchen, designed by Bulthaup, features a white-cushioned booth and round table next to a transom window in the middle of the room. A slim red glass chandelier hangs from the wall over the table. The built-in oven is next to the transom window, with the kitchen island close by for washing and preparing food. There’s a bench along the kitchen island for casual meals.

White-veined marble constitutes the designer bathroom, making up the floor walls, tub, and double sink counter. A freestanding sink and cabinet occupy another part of the bathroom, with a long vertical mirror overhead. Light fixtures are hidden in ceiling compartments to keep the design lines clean.

For entertainment during luxurious baths, there’s a small, flat screen TV on the wall above the bathtub. Tall glass storage cabinets with l bins underneath to keep small items take up the wall closest to the door.

Trees and landscaping beautify a concrete-tile walkway in the back of the house. A wood and Corten steel canopy, help up by two steel pillars, protects a side entrance to the home.

The outdoor patio and dining areas at River Road are particularly sublime. The second-floor dining area in the middle of the structure has two tables, one of them on a circular floor surrounded by grass. The patio has a spectacular view of the water and front yard landscaping.

The curved driveway leading up to the house has an abundance of different-sized tree and leafy green plants providing shade and color in front of the residence’s black-and-white facade.

Here are more photos from the River Road Project

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
All photography © Steven Brooke

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
All photography © Steven Brooke

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