Rivo Alto Island, Miami Beach, Florida | 2009
This single-family residence is located on Rivo Alto Island along the Venetian Causeway between mainland Miami and Miami Beach. The island’s long, narrow, waterfront lots inspired the design of a linear structure, sited to create a protected sideyard garden along its north side. On the other side, the house is sheltered from the traffic and the overhead power lines along the Causeway.
The site is divided longitudinally into two zones: garden and house. Within the linear garden landscape is a sequence of outdoor rooms: a drive court, a bridged entrance over a carp and lily pond, a two-story porch and outdoor living room, a lap pool/jacuzzi and, finally, a dock in the waters of Biscayne Bay.
The belvedere is the focal point of the site, creating vertical relief from the horizontal flow of spaces progressing from the street out to the Bay. On the ground level, it forms a covered entrance to the interior atrium and lookout over the pool area. On the second level, it provides an outdoor living room that features a spiral stair to the roof deck and views of the water and surrounding cities.
The main entrance to the house, just off the belvedere, includes a 2-story interior atrium with a spiral stair at its center, a sculptural element that binds both floors and each side of the structure. The house takes advantage of its long, narrow massing to create an indoor sequence of high-ceilinged spaces that are naturally lit in the daytime and cross-ventilated to allow comfortable interaction with the outdoors. French doors on its North, East, and West sides allow the house to be opened completely to the garden, patio, and Bay.
2010 AIA Miami Award of Excellence
Photos by Robin Hill
© 2018 Shulman + Associates