As creative as architects are, they seem to run out of interesting things to say by the time they have to name a project to put it on a title block. Therefore, homes most typically get named by their architect after his or her client. But, with this home, I had the good fortune to be working on a very secluded and aptly named street hidden deep in the jungles of old Coral Gables, “Hammock Drive”. Hence the name…”Hammock House”. The ease with which the name came to me belies the intrinsic appropriateness it represents.
This modernist creation was very much inspired by one of the first pieces of Architecture that ever made an impression on me. My family grew up in and along the waters of Sarasota Bay along the Gulf of Mexico and it was on one of those days fishing the bayou’s with my father and grandfather that we came across an extraordinary little cottage. It wasn’t like anything I had ever seen before, it had an upside-down roofline, wood louvers in place of walls, and hung itself halfway over the water of Bayou Louise. All you design aficionados know I am of course describing Paul Rudolf’s most famous Florida home, “Cocoon House”. The memory of discovering a modernist icon while out fishing has remained with me ever after and very much served to inspire “Hammock House”.
Cocoon House is quite revolutionary in its “lightness” it practically hovers and almost magically appears to swing from cables. It is exactly that “lightness” that interested me most and even though Hammock House is a cubist collection of white masonry boxes…the mass of it floats above its flanking wings and rests on a stone fulcrum in the same way Cocoon settles itself on the seawall.
The resulting glass-enclosed space comprises the large central living room, gallery, dining room, and bar. The flanking wing to the right makes up the master suite and den and the wing to the left contains the kitchen, family and service rooms. The floating second floor lifts the 5 family bedrooms above everything else into a separate children’s enclave.
Interior Design Inspiration – Ocean Reef Sunset House – have a look at this charming project.
Donna Shalala’s Penthouse Condo in Miami, Florida – discover more about this eclectic residence.
Bauhaus and Modernism – from Thuringia to the World – find out more about this historic academy for arts and architecture.