Monserrate Street House
Tony Fernandez Architect
3250 Mary Street, #406, Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Location: Coral Gables, Florida
Date Bid: June 2006 Construction Period: Oct 2006 to Dec 2007
Total Square Feet: 6,065 Site: .40 acre.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: Garage, 595; roofed entry porch, 143; roofed rear terrace, 217; first floor (under A/C), 5,075; laundry roofed porch, 35; total, 6,065*. Other, swimming pool, 554; paved pool deck, 1,869.
Building Height: Garage, 17’6”; first floor, 23’; total, 23’.
Basic Construction Type: CBS/New.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: CMU. Roof: Tile. Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall..
Structural Engineer: Eastern Engineering Group - 3403 NW 82nd Avenue, #320B, Miami, FL 33122
General Contractor & Cost Estimator: Jomed Construction Corp. - 4812 SW 74th Court, Miami, FL 33155
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: CMB Engineers, Inc. - 2740 SW 97th Avenue, #108, Miami, FL 33165
This home was designed for a young couple with three children ages 4, 6 and 14. They expressed a desire for an informal open plan with easy access to the outdoors in the back. The program called for a 1-story house with a master bedroom, four additional bedrooms & three bathrooms, entry tower, living room, dining room, galley kitchen (Dad is an avid cook) with sit-in counter and open to a large family room and breakfast-informal-dining nook, utility room, 2-car garage, outdoor roofed terrace, and a large swimming pool flanked on one side by a wood trellis. The pool deck was to be visually accessible from all living spaces in the house, both for aesthetic reasons and to easily monitor the children when playing in the pool deck.
The 0.40-acre lot is tight considering that the house is using all the building area allowed by zoning, while at the same time competing for space with the large pool deck, circular driveway, the sanitary septic system (there is no sewer in most of the City of Coral Gables) which must remain unencumbered by any building, paving or landscaping, mechanical equipment, and the many building regulations affecting any residential project today.
The swimming pool and trellis in the rear are the focal point of the house, emphasizing a visual cross-axis across the living room and entry vestibule, apparent all the way from the entry tower as you step through the front door. The longitudinal axis of the pool, with an elevated jacuzzi at one end, ties-in visually across the full-height windows facing the pool deck from the family room. The dining room space, in contrast, offers a diagonal vista to the swimming pool and trellis.
Ceilings vary in height from 18-foot at the entry, 14-foot in the family room and 12-foot in the living room down to 10-foot in the bedrooms. Stepped coffers in the ceilings with indirect lighting accentuate different spaces throughout the living areas in the house.
Seen from the street, the front door is framed by the entry tower consisting of a double-height roofed porch and monumental triumphal arch, with the red-tile roofs of the house lower two wings on either side wrapping around the front corners of the tower. As you enter the house, on one side of the living room space are the master bedroom-bath suite, and the two bedrooms for the younger children sharing a bathroom. An oversize window illuminates the master bath and looks into a private garden area, walled-in for privacy and crowned by a wood trellis. On the opposite side of the living room are the other two bedrooms, one of which can double as a guest bedroom or playroom as needed. A grand hall leads from the living room to the dining room space that is semi-open on two sides. Then through a narrow space off one open side of the dining area, you walk into the far end of the house: A large volume encompassing the kitchen, breakfast nook and family room, where the family spends most of the time.