The Bal Harbour House is an intimate and layered home in Miami that provides a space that integrates and overlaps with the surrounding landscape.

Studio Name: Oppenheim Architecture
Design Team: Chad Oppenheim, Kevin McMorris, Juan Calvo, Alexis Cogul, Alex Lozano
Area: 12,300 SF
Year: 2015
Location:  Bal Harbour, Florida, USA
Consultants: N/A
Photography Credits: Karen Fuchs, DBOX
Other Credits: N/A

Bal Harbour House by Oppenheim Architecture - Sheet5
©Karen Fuchs, DBOX

The six-bedroom family home is equipped with spacious areas and rooms perfect for hosting and entertaining. The home curates an idyllic lifestyle, subtly encouraging how residents socialize with each other, while embracing the garden and harbor backdrop.

Bal Harbour House by Oppenheim Architecture - Sheet7
©Karen Fuchs, DBOX

With Miami’s tropical climate, the house features soft, natural tones like travertine, concrete and wood that are inspired by the colors of the coast. The home’s exterior paired with the bay view.

The home is settled on a deep, narrow site that extends from road to waterfront, with two double-story pavilions and landscaped courtyard all brought together by a grand central axis and glazed bridge. Its courtyard format supplies a consistent bay breeze that flows freely throughout the home and surrounding environment – cooled through movement across ponds and greenery – minimizing the need for air conditioning.

The ground floor of the Bal Harbour House is one large interconnected space fitted with lounge and dining areas. Glass doors throughout facilitate movement indoors and out that allow a constant connection to the sea. Its simplistic interior – furniture and artwork – complements the bay view and provides intimate settings for socialization.

Bal Harbour House by Oppenheim Architecture - Sheet9
©Karen Fuchs, DBOX

Navigating highly prescriptive building rules, we have created a grand home of 12,000 square feet while maintaining generous gardens and outdoor spaces. We have used form and shadow to carefully break down the scale of a large home and to create an intimate environment where nature filters through every room.

Practice Abstract:

Oppenheim Architecture is a global design practice that was established by Chad Oppenhein in 1999. With studios in Miami and Basel, the firm engages with diverse clients, cultures and environments globally. A team of architects, interior designers, planners, dreamers and technicians make up the firm with Swiss Architect Beat Huesler leading the Basel office. Both offices operate as one as they’re guided by principles of contextual design, functionality and craft.

The firm works with the land, not just on it by building projects that are highly attuned to their sites. Oppenheim Architecture’s work is more than just designing and building; the design process starts with studying cultures, technologies, materials, and psychologies, resulting in buildings and spaces that connect people with the spirit of place.

As value creators and problem-solvers, we aim to challenge and inspire so that each site and project fulfills and exceeds its potential. Every brief holds hidden value, and our focus is to realize these greater cultural, experiential, and economic possibilities—to make one plus one equal eleven. By seeing architecture as part of a wider ecosystem, we amplify benefits not only for our clients and users, but also for the surrounding community and environment.

The firm has received over 90 awards with many from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Awards, as well as a National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.


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