Intro

This is one of our special projects. It all began with a great site: a Deep Water Ocean access lot on the Miami beaches waterfront towards the Atlantic Ocean. The S-E orientation of the lot, its relation to both the waterway and a street, as well as the rich vegetation were very inspiring. 

Together with a senior American architect, the theme was to design a Minimalist Villa. This new opportunity meant understanding the local cultural context, the natural data of the site as well as some special technical conditions for a modern project.

Services

Location

Year

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3D Rendering, Design

Miami, United States

2020

The site

Situated on the waterfront and deep canal, the flat lot had no fixed bridges and a total surface of 8,600 SF. The dock and seawall were recently reinforced, as this 70 ft frontage by 125 ft deep lot is just a few homes off the direct Intracoastal front Waterway.

Four imposing palm trees guard the frontage of the site towards the waterway, just like a temple entrance. Rich flowering vegetation surrounds the entire lot. The neighboring villas were one or two stories light slope tiled roof villas, designed in the Mediterranean Revival style.

Context

On the occasion of a previous project, we discovered the rich and surprising Architectural Heritage of the Miami area. The Art Deco district, with the original Tropical Deco style of Miami, was inspired by “the sea, palm trees, and cruise ships” as well as Streamline constructions, Mediterranean Revival, and the famous Miami Modern – MiMO. This new opportunity meant understanding the local cultural context, the natural data of the site as well as some special technical conditions for a modern project.

Concept Design

The minimalist box volume of the Villa is organized in two stories, with the daytime functions towards the S-E waterfront and the night-time ones towards the street. The concept was a clean white reinforced concrete, wood, and glass volume, highlighting the horizontal towards the waterfront, as it would be mainly seen in movement: a yacht kind of look, with clean horizontal lines. For this, 3DS Max software was used for 3D Modeling and to improve the functionality of the design.

Between the waterway and the building, one can admire a refined composition of outdoor, indoor, and in-between spaces, from the pool to an outdoor lounge area, an elegant exterior staircase. Something from the Villa Savoye and its floating effect, as well as Richard Meier’s scenography of the staircase and outdoor areas, seem to be discretely recalled.

The challenges for designing the villa

Beyond the beauty of the site, the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean brings particular challenges for an Architectural project:

A. How to design large sliding windows that resist to the local strong winds?
B. How to design a hurricane-proof villa?

For these two main challenges, that meant resisting in times of extreme weather – wind, high ocean waves, rain, etc. – the structure of the villa had to be very strong as well as the windows to be specially designed. We found the solution by using Dupont’s large glass windows based on the engineering calculations for the wind loads.

Why using photo-realistic 3D Rendering?

One of the benefits of using 3D Rendering as part of the design process is seeing any adjustments instantly. The textures are previewed in real-time using the 3d Rendering software Unity and 3DS Max for 3D Modeling. The end results can be seen when the materials to the 3D model of the building.

Outcomes

As the 3D Renderings were created the client could visualize how the house would look like when built. 

For Rendercity, this overseas collaboration was a great learning and communication experience. It broadened our horizons, through the research process, design, 3D Modelling, and photo-realistic Rendering.


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