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Distinctive Sewall Florida Residence by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects

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