Location: Skylake, FL, United States
Completion date: 2011
Jaya Kader Zebede
Nestled between mature oak specimens in the front and a lake in the rear, the 4,800 one story home was begging for a connection to its sub-tropical setting. The vast open, yet decaying spaces in the rear of the 23,000 sqft site were in desperate need of an intervention. The client approached us, requesting to add an artist studio for the mother–a painter. The pavilion called for an intervention in the rear part of the property to integrate the newly added studio with the large expanse of outdoor spaces, creating a visual connection with the landscape, but also showcasing the artist's own work.
Designing the studio as an anchor for a series of outdoor spaces, the addition/intervention strived to shake the existing structure and connect it to its beautiful natural setting in order to celebrate South Tropical indoor/outdoor living. It was important to include extensive glazing, which will allow a clear connection to the outdoors to inspire the artist and to have a glimpse of her work during events, gallery nights.
KZ Architecture worked closely with landscape architect and artist to develop the perfect sanctuary of art, as well as outdoor spaces that were designed as a series of floating slabs to the South which provide balance for the studio structure on the North. The interplay of sliding planes, lights and darks, solids and voids echoes the tools of an artist at work, while fulfilling specific functions: The two tall concrete columns help separate the outdoor living space from the pool area as well as provide structure for the upper and lower canopies. The upper canopies provide coverage for outdoor living and sunshades, while the lower canopy serves as food prep and serving space for family gatherings.
Despite the restrictions and limits on glazing/mullion ratios of the South Florida hurricane building code, the project aimed to connect the interior spaces to the outdoors in every possible way. This included large sliders, plantings at the edge of both, the studio and the covered terrace areas, as well as the linear canopies that thrust the entire setting towards the lake.