This project in Sarasota, Florida centered on creating an elegant backyard living space in which the Owners could live and entertain. Both design professionals, they requested a new pool house, pool and landscape layout that embraced modern design but had a sensitivity to the adjacent 1926 historic home that would share the site.
The Architect faced several primary challenges in designing this project. First, the Owners wanted a modern design that extended the living space of their 1926 historic cottage for themselves, family, and friends. The design elements of the project had to be sensitive to the home’s nature and the national historic guidelines to which it adhered. It was agreed that mimicking the 1926 cottage would create confusion and diminish the uniqueness of the original structure. The solution was to incorporate details from the home into the pool house. The roof pitch, overhangs, and the cypress wood ceilings mirror that of the cottage, visually connecting the structures through use of massing and details.
A second challenge was to create a comfortable living space within a compact urban backyard. This unembellished design blurs the boundaries between inside and outside and uses natural daylight to make the living area seem extraordinarily open. The interior/exterior flow of space is achieved with the use of eight-foot high disappearing glass doors and unfinished concrete floors continuing onto the exterior patio. Glass mosaics are used in the shower, the main living space and pool area to continue the aesthetic cohesion between the indoors and outdoors. Shoji-screen sliding pocket doors serve a dual purpose, letting natural light into the sitting room and occupying minimal space as opposed to a traditional swing-type door. Another design element giving the illusion of openness is a minimalist, clear glass shower partition that barely divides the shower from the sink area. Further increasing functionality, the 625-square-foot structure simultaneously serves as a pool house, guest house, home office and hurricane-safe house. The project includes a Living Area, Bathroom, Kitchenette, and storage space.
Finally, the Owners requested and the Architect included specific sustainable design features. The pool house uses passive orientation and cooling strategies. The design takes advantage of increased insulation in the walls specific to sun orientation and seasonal exposure. Energy efficiency is achieved with low-e glazing, a tankless water heater, and low-flow water fixtures. Large sliding glass doors encourage the Owner to use natural ventilation, and compact fluorescent fixtures are installed for nighttime illumination. Mechanical ventilation is provided to remove excess moisture and indoor pollutants from the living space, and provides a controlled rate of air changes per hour. Concrete and ceramic tile were installed and only low VOC paints, sealants and finishes were used.
Through the use of detailed design elements and simplicity, the modern backyard pool house extends the living space of the 1926 historic cottage with artistic continuity. The design blurs the lines between inside and out to create a backyard space that effortlessly flows and enhances the way the Owners live and entertain.
Owner: Mrs. Jennifer Mumford and Mr. Robert Brady
Architect: Mr. Jonathan Parks AIA, JONATHAN PARKS ARCHITECT
Interior Design by JONATHAN PARKS ARCHITECT and Owner
Production Designer: Mr. Aristarco Montiel
Concept Designer: Ms. Yukiko Okada
Landscape Architect: Site Concepts International
Builder: David Bailey, Inc.
Photography: The Greg Wilson Group