The best projects in our experience usually come from the most unexpected situations. This client stopped by our barn intrigued at its unique form and intimate functions. Immediately they felt at home and decided they wanted one just like it. The property they decided upon already had a typical Florida cookie cutter home. They insisted this home should be updated and expanded to take on a new life, specifically one similar to what we had envisioned. They hoped to create something they could enjoy on their day to day, where they can live work and play. The outdoors being a big factor in their lives they accentuated the need for large outdoor gathering areas. The horse barns were to be large enough to hold personal horses but also exist as a horse hotel for others to rent during the season. Being big travelers the family loves to collect culture, art, wine, movies, books, and crafts from all over and wanted that to be reflected in their living space.
The design process began with a compound of buildings each identified to fulfill their specific purpose while elevating the body mind and soul. We want to design an inspiring and dynamic building that celebrates the vernacular and the modern, without assuming any standardized style. The result should be a contemporary design for international clients that are looking for something a little different from what people seek but highlight the scene of South Florida.
From the beginning the master plan was intended to allow the construction process to be completed in different stages. This would allow the design to be realized as the clients budget caught up with the construction process. If they wanted to finish construction at a later day they could do so, this idea was baked into the design from the start. As we started to investigate the existing, we quickly realized that most importantly we didn’t agree with the way you entered the existing house. The entrance of the house is the moment where we can create that invigorating wow moment. To achieve this, we decided to move the entry gate to the west side of the property. This action will allow us to push the heavy trucks access up and around to the barn for supplies and feed deliveries. The basic geometry of the project is laid down with the axis created from the entry door to the back of the property; a straight shot through the house creates linear progression while allowing a visual connection throughout. In a visceral connection with this axis all the new additional spaces were conceptualized. Starting at the entry courtyard, the entry door will open, and all the main spaces will develop, with the living room and dining room introducing the house. Holistically, in the interior of the house, the renovation successful in accomplishing a clean and modern look. Created by large wooden panels hung from the ceiling in the living spaces to give new sense of scale to the space and give a more intimate atmosphere. Straight through living room you enter into the pool and located at the end of the lap pool the fire pit reinforces this axis. Continuing along, the sculpture leads us to the barn entry and continuing the axis is the barn’s reflective fountain. From this reflective fountain the end of the barn is marked by a hallway that guide us to back of the property, the barns doors to the outside. The barn is constructed of two main pieces forming an enclosed semi-circle: the curved portion and a straight line. At two corners of the semicircle two buildings, divide the building into the public and private barns. In this way the owner is visually connected with their horses constantly from the house. The entry courtyard, the pool’s courtyard and the barn courtyard are organized in a consecutive way such that each space has their own characteristics and serve a different function. Around main pool is the chickee, the family’s reunion area. Because this family inclination towards food and the outdoors, the BBQ was the perfect function to bring everyone together. The design centered around an Argentine style BBQ in a beautiful large Floridian teepee. The Seminole Indians build these teepees in Florida as a defense against the harsh summers. These structures allow fresh breezes to sweep the heat while creating a barrier from the direct sunlight, while using completely local materials. Knowing this we grabbed inspiration from these historically tested structures to help us design an area to enjoy the outdoors for BBQ’s. The thatched roof is an outstanding structure because of its large size and peculiar shape. The temperature beneath a chickee can reach 10-15 degrees cooler than the outside air because of it. In addition, the open sides enhance structural stability during hurricanes as the winds blow straight through it. Chickees fare quite well during inclement weather and typically suffer only from some ruffled palm fronds. And last but not least, their most prized addition to this project, was a wine cellar to accommodate the bottles of wine from around the world, a meticulously chosen collection. A space with controlled climate regions was added with a clear connection to the media room and the kitchen, to serve this purpose.
We design every space to empower people and transform the way they live. Buildings affect our mood and well-being; our brain cells are attuned to geometry and the arrangement of spaces. Our design consists of different patios to create interaction and relations in the house among humans and animals. Air, Wind, Fire and Earth the four Pythagorean elements that are connected and represented in our body are continuously present in the design.
The house now has another owner and is amazed at how beautifully the round barn works. While the original owners have a different background, both of these families feel the impact of good design in their daily lives.
2648 Appaloosa Trail, Wellington, FL 33414, USA
Juan & Mariaga Ramirez
12,000 SQ. FT.
Residential Remodel & Equestrian New Construction
Francisco Sole, Gloria Martinez