This is a charming but modest house built in 1925 on South Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. The owner’s approach is that of a curator, a custodian, of old Florida’s heritage. The main living spaces open east onto a large lot overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Palm Beach beyond. The owners had the all too familiar need for more space. They engaged our services to design an addition with multiple requirements: a large library to house their collections, wheelchair access to the second floor, protection from the south-eastern exposure in the form of a loggia with a grand terrace to take advantage of Intracoastal views and breezes. The addition needed to show deference to the original. Special care was taken in the siting of the building as well as the placement and structure of the loggia so there was minimal loss of historic material and character-defining features were not obscured. The entry facade, the lovely Juliet balcony (or balconette) and the existing fenestration were all left unaltered. Perhaps this is a discussion to be had another time, but too often guidelines lead architects to believe additions to historic structures must be “modern” so as to “be done in a manner that makes it clear what is historic and what is new.” It is our opinion that this does just that without compromising the aesthetic. A sympathetic, traditional (not historic) design, that uses appropriate classical detailing, creates a work that is contemporary and “of our time” without inflicting on us another unsympathetic modern creation.
Rendered view of the existing facade
Rendered view of the proposed addition
Rendered view of the Proposed addition