Miami Green Homes


Historic Coral Gables residence renovation by S.E.A.

Nicely completed historic renovation in Coral Gables, Florida. Design by Sebastian Eilert and Dan Lewis of Sebastian Eilert Architecture, build by Split Level Construction.

Find a slideshow and more information on the frims comany site:

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Architectural Style Guide Mediterranean Style – a Coral Gables favorite

Exert from the “City of Coral Gables Design Handbook”

http://www.coralgables.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentID=11730

“The Mediterranean Style Design Standards provide a strong emphasis on aesthetics and architectural design with regulations that encourage the planned mixing of uses to establish identity, diversity and focus to promote a pedestrian friendly environment. This is accomplished through the utilization of a variety of architectural attributes”

That is about all the detail the official guide provides, leaving the actual definitions up to the Architectural Review Board. The guide does provide a number of images that are supposed to help identity this suggested style that is at the heart of Coral Gables architecture.

A better description of the style would probably be the Mizner style; after architect Addison Mizner, who shaped much of Palm Beach, and South Florida with his interpretation of the Spanish Colonial Revisal style. Best definition can be found on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Colonial_Revival_architecture

“Spanish Colonial Revival architecture is characterized by a combination of detail from several eras of Spanish Baroque, Spanish Colonial, Moorish Revival and Mexican Churrigueresque architecture, the style is marked by the prodigious use of smooth plaster (stucco) wall and chimney finishes, low-pitched clay tile, shed, or flat roofs, and terracotta or cast concrete ornaments. Other characteristics typically include small porches or balconies, Roman or semi-circular arcades and fenestration, wood casement or tall, double–hung windows, canvas awnings, and decorative iron trim.”

 

Indeed there are many visual examples found within the city and other parts of South Florida. It remains a visually dominant, yet climate inappropriate style. Even the outdoor spaces, porches and other outdoor features that encourage embracing the local climate, seem out of place these days.

The columns and finishes typically associate with the style no longer represent the means of construction from which they originated and the barrel tile roof has proven a hurricane nightmare.

With all the downsides of this historic style, the beauty and architectural balance of these buildings cannot be denied.

With a strong focus on sustainable and regionally appropriate design, S.E.A. generally moves away from this style in lieu of more appropriate design and construction features.



Permits and board approvals! Miami overview and nuances…

Often referred to as the “necessary evil”, getting a building permit is a crucial part of any project. While the process may pose a considerable time impact, it is important to remember that the primary objective of a building permit is to ensure that safe structures are provided. Beyond the building code approvals, zoning codes also guide the local flair and style of many neighborhoods and cities. The check and balance of this process should instead be looked at as a safety net for the owner, to ensure that the hired license professionals are indeed doing their job – beyond just design.

SEA has been blessed with a plethora of approvals in the last weeks and we are celebrating alongside our clients;

The building permit process and requirements in the respective municipality are typically common knowledge, however some of the nuances that are required may not be completely known and can add substantial time commitment to the permitting process. Some of the more common approvals we help to obtain are the Coral Gables Board of Architects approval – a process that requires a preliminary and a full approval to present to a panel of volunteer architects, Historic board approval (typically in Coral Gables, Miami Beach and City of Miami) – and special Planning and Zoning approvals, such as the recent success in Miami Shores.

building-permit_Page_1

(Miami Dade County Building Permit Application)

Following are some typical permit applications available online in Miami Dade County; these must be singed and notarized by the respective parties:

County: http://www.miamidade.gov/permits/library/building-permit.pdf

Miami: http://www.miamigov.com/nets/docs/permits/buildingpermitapplication.pdf

Miami Beach: http://web.miamibeachfl.gov/building/scroll.aspx?id=37842

Coral Gables: http://coralgables.com/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=741



Architectural Style guide – South Florida: Transitional Style

A recent project in Coral Gables, Florida encouraged me to define a style currently growing in the South Florida markets. It is often referred to as Florida Modern or Key West Modern but more accurately called Transitional Style. It can be defined as follows:

Transitional Style (also known as “updated classic”, “classic with a contemporary twist”, “new takes on old classics”) in design refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary; incorporating lines that are less ornate than traditional designs, but not as severely basic as contemporary lines. As a result transitional designs are classic, timeless, and clean.

Curves combine with straight lines in a transitional style to deliver a look that balances both masculine and feminine attributes for a comfortable, contemporary design. The scales of the pieces are ample but not overwhelming. A lack of ornamentation and decoration keeps the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design.[1]

Unlike contemporary style, transitional style focuses on comfort and practicality to meet the lifestyle of an active household. it looks somewhat traditional on the outside (not a contemporary style home) but on the inside, it most likely has the very open floorplan as well as possibly 2 story volume ceilings, etc, not the traditional well defined rooms with doors and four walls.

3D View 36

Rendered view of Coral Gables design home.

Look for more style definitions and examples in future posts