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The new home required:
- that all rooms have a view of the Gulf of Mexico,
- that it be compact enough for it to be intimate but large enough to allow privacy,
- that it convey a relaxed, informal and contemporary aesthetic, and
- that it comply with the strict light obstruction, zoning and environmental restrictions of Sanibel Island, the Florida DNR and FEMA
The owners selected a narrow lot along West Gulf Drive situated with long views to the west across the protected coastal conservation zone of the neighboring properties and expansive views of the Gulf of Mexico to the south.
The house is constructed on 55 foot-deep auger cast piles, and a reinforced concrete substructure. The new structure re-established the original contours of the dune where the earlier home and pool had been excavated into it. The entire lower level is enclosed with break-away walls designed to relieve pressure from high water during extreme weather events.
The lower level includes a garage for two cars and an entrance hall with stair and elevator. Large south-facing glass on the first floor allows daylight to reach the bottom of the stairs. As one ascends, a view of the Gulf of Mexico reveals itself. The first floor includes continuation of the stair to the second floor, a study, powder room, master suite, kitchen, combined dining and living room, a screened porch and service spaces.
Morning sunshine streams into the kitchen through a large east-facing window. Each room opens onto the terrace which then steps into a hot tub and a pool. The water level of the pool is set flush with the deck and disappears over the far edge.
The second floor includes two guest bedroom suites with vaulted ceilings and high windows and an outdoor deck that provides elevated views of the Gulf and sunsets.
The exterior of the home evokes vernacular Florida beach cottages and incorporates traditional painted lap siding and standing seam metal roofing while being built to modern standards of weather resistance and energy efficiency.