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14 Nov  |  Projects News

$9m Blase beach house holiday retreat nears completion - Florida, USA

The Blase beach house holiday retreat in Florida, started construction in April 2016 and due for completion in Spring 2018. During the initial stages, the exposed concrete and steel structure that characterises the architectural form of the house were built up to the first floor level. The following months saw the erection of the first floor steel columns, exposed concrete roof level beams and a roof slab before the construction moved towards the enclosure of the building envelope, formed by over one hundred impact resistant window and sliding door panels. Of interest is the central stair, which is being constructed by a marine engineering / manufacturing specialist. This will be operated by hydraulic pistons to lift and open up the central entrance foyer, to become an entertaining space adjacent to the living and kitchen areas.

The house structure has demonstrated its stability, surviving both the 130mph winds during the storm of Hurricane Matthew, and the more recent Hurricane Irma. The house is protected by a dune built in 2016, which performed as intended effectively protecting the house and site.  

Paul O’Neill, Bryden Wood Board Director, Architecture, commenting said: “We were very pleased, but not surprised that the structure has stood up to not one, but two hurricanes. There was in fact, no water ingress to the completed parts of the envelope at all. The hurricane winds were extreme and destructive all over Florida, but well below what the house is designed to withstand.  However, this was a very real test. In terms of our overall approach to the brief, our contemporary design responds to the client’s needs using his past industrial profession to execute an experimental architectural solution, sensitive to both the end user and the site. The house is a continuation of the themes explored in a previous scheme based in Germany for the same client, using similar design ideologies, arranged as a linear building with separate wings connected via a central, double height space also acting as the main entrance. Visually the central part of the house flows as a single entity linking the kitchen, living area and library as a single continuous, fluid space. Two interconnecting organic shaped platforms lead to the second floor and roof. We are delighted with the progress made, particularly given the adverse weather conditions we have faced.” 

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