Chic coastal cottage retreat by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects

Like driftwood collecting in courses on the beach, this incredible beach home nestles comfortably between the waterfront and road along a narrow site on the northern coast of Jupiter Island, Florida. This 3,600 square foot modern structure has been designed by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects. Completed in 2004, the house has been designed to be timeless, as both a quaint coastal cottage retreat and a chic island villa. The geometries of the house are complemented by the pitched nautical dynamism of a structure perched on piers and railings, ready to set sail at a moments notice. Situated on the beach, the house affords direct access to the water, reinforcing the immediacy of the relationship to site and the spontaneity of island living.

The design has been schematically layed out to incorporate three distinct elements, glass, sand and aluminum for their metaphorical and material possibilities. The sand element represents the sleeping area, aluminum has been used to enrich the entertaining space, and glass is used to enhance the public living spaces. Each division has been sensitively oriented to capture light and views. The ceramic fritted glass used in the kitchen and dining room lends translucency and visual play to the south-facing two-story entertaining space. The textured face of stucco or “sand” of the north-facing sleeping area underscores the ancient wisdom of worn stone, an apt sensibility for an intimate space infused by soft morning light. Linking the two, the core area of the home which is the kitchen area, has been sheathed with louvers (aluminum vertical blinds).

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