Diaphanous volumes encapsulated within solid facades – this in a nutshell defines the River Road House from Hughes Umbanhowar Architects. The posh looking building in Sewall’s Point, Florida, does cover a lot of floor area with the actual figure coming at around 12,300 sq foot (1,135 sq m). But what really entices us is how this scope of swankiness doesn’t ever cross the threshold of opulence – to pose as a ‘loud’ structure. The architects have rather maintained the ambit of elegance through use of both delicate volumes and spatial denominations that are composed as a seamless whole.
In terms of collective embodiment, the River Road House boasts of a series of geometric rectilinear patterns that either come in focus or hide away – in accordance with the viewer’s perspective. These interspersing volumes are joined by the transparent forms of glass, thus resulting in spatial systems defined by volumetric contrasts. Both the positive and negative spaces are interlaced and harmonized, while the state of transparency allows the residence to induct natural light from various avenues. Moreover, such antithetical considerations are also translated to real-time circulation patterns – with the habitable quarters being situated at two ends of the longitudinal axis.
So many factors contribute to a dramatic essence inside the interiors; which the designers themselves describe as “creating a heightened tension and intrigue.” This electrifying rhythm is complemented by exquisite finishes made from mahogany frames, Minnesota Limestone and plaster. There is also a dynamic side to the whole affair with the utilization of aluminum louvers and an entire sliding window wall that ‘unobtrusively’ demarcates the bulthaup kitchen from the exterior courtyard.
And, since we have brought up the exterior, the architects went to great lengths so as not to superimpose the extensive building block over the site. In fact, the River Road House’s ethereal credential sort of coalesces into the scenic setting on the hillside that overlooks a 2-acre waterfront lot (one can actually make out the diaphaneity from the facades’ reflections at night). This dashing setup is aptly bolstered by the addition of landscaping, swimming pool and those impressive Italian limestone and stucco facades.