House at Seaside

Seaside, Florida, 2006

The design of this 2,700-square-foot oceanfront house in the influential New Urbanist planned town of Seaside, Florida, adheres to the town's strict code requirements for its particular lot, yet is subtly unique. Its design combines the elegance of 1930s Swedish Classicism with the charming vernacular of turn-of-the-century wooden American seaside resort houses.

The compact plan looks to the traditional urban townhouse model but employs a side entry through the garden. Children's bedrooms are located at the garden level with the great room at the piano nobile, both with porches overlooking the ocean. The master bedroom suite, with sweeping vistas of both the town and the ocean, occupies the third level. The interior architecture continues the simplified wooden Classicism consistent the exterior design.

The west facade, which faces the town, employs superimposed orders to create a public scale. The oceanside porches are organized with stacked orders of fluted and inscribed Greek columns in antis culminating in a trussed and trellised roof supported by a single Ionic column which gives the house an iconic identity from the beach. The siding at the lower level is rusticated wood meant to imitate stone, rising up to beveled clapboard at the upper levels which culminates in a batten copper roof and an open rafter eave embellished with decorative caps. The overall effect is a balance of naivete and sophistication.

RAMSA Partners Robert A.M. Stern and Gary Brewer led the design.

Publications: Architectural Digest, April 2008Period Homes, September 2009; Coastal Living, September 2010.

Awards: Winner of the 2012 Addison Mizner Medal in the Residential – Small Single Family (under 5,000 square feet) category.

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