The vacant, long, narrow corner lot, referred to as the “odd lot” in El Portal was ignored for decades. Two years ago, a young European couple who had recently moved to Miami saw great potential to design and build a family home of their dreams.
Project Name: Casa Pompei
Studio Name: DESIGNOLOGY LLC
The layout of the courtyard house was inspired by the dwellings of ancient Pompei. The ancient structures represent a self-contained design that offers maximum privacy. The home life revolves around a courtyard enhanced by a water element. There are no windows on the facade facing the street.
The house with plain thick, pure white walls and linear wood screens creates a minimalist aesthetic and allows the tropical landscape flourish in contrast. The white walls are to be covered entirely by creeping ficus to create vertical gardens. The house, under a camouflage of the greenery, fits snugly into the eclectic nature of the charming Village of El Portal, Miami.
At the entrance, one steps into a private courtyard with a pool. The house, comprised of two separate volumes, the night wing and the day wing, is interconnected through a wrap-around portico. All the main rooms of the house have direct access to the courtyard garden and the water.
The tropical climate of Miami allows for indoor-outdoor living. The covered portico offers shade and protection from the rain. The space invites the family and guests to be in constant contact with nature. The wood panels offer privacy and allow for air circulation.
An entire wall in each room is a floor to ceiling sliding glass door opening into the courtyard, an element that provides a visual flow throughout the house and creates a great sense of privacy and solace. There is a playful contrast between the stark lines of the interiors and the lush tropical landscaping.
The floors and bathroom wall finishings are handmade on-site using micro-cement in a continuous, earthy gray hue. The movements and variations in the artisanal application complement the smooth white walls. Frameless doors and reveal bases, replacing baseboards, highlight the minimalist interior design. Architect Fitos states, “The design strategy is subtractive. We were able to finalize the design process with nothing more to add and nothing left to purge. Our goal was to achieve absolute purity.”
All the finishing materials, kitchen, doors, closets, vanities, shower enclosures and all furnishings came directly from Italy in shipping containers. The bathroom fixtures and fittings are Rexadesign. The kitchen and dining table are Arredo3. The frameless doors and floor to ceiling space dividers are Movi. The master bed is Twils, the nightstand and dressers are Giellesse. The chairs are Desalto. All elements are supplied and installed by Designology, LLC.
The smart home system, invisible home theater and integrated linear LED lighting is designed by Featured Media, LLC. The artworks are loaned by Stacey Mancuso Design, Inc.
Architect Fitos states, “It is an immense pleasure for an architect to design and build their own home. The architecture truly reflects the lifestyle of my family. The lot was very long and narrow, so we had to choose between a two-story home vs. a courtyard home. Practically speaking, it was deciding between a staircase vs. a breezeway. We chose the breezeway. Designing a home with two separate volumes has been experimental. Now when I have to pass from one side to the other and I step into the courtyard, I feel the sun, I see the moon, I hear the birds inviting me to pay attention to the surroundings. I inhale the fresh air with gratitude. Sometimes I just pause in the courtyard for two minutes. It is a constant blessing from mother nature.
With an authentic European background, solid experience, a proven track record in architecture and project development on an international level, Designology LLC is dedicated to producing contemporary, minimal yet sophisticated projects that combine design aesthetics with cost-effective, functional and smart solutions to meet the exacting requirements of the target market. Followed by creative and relevant design processes, Designology, LLC delivers select projects from concept to completion.
Designology’s work is site-specific. Creative ideas stem from the existing conditions. Challenges are seen as opportunities to rethink and reframe architectural elements with a view of creating an authentic and true to its context architectural structure.
The interior design is always an integral part of the process. Architectural design goes through rigorous revisions to create a seamless and coherent design aesthetic that combines exteriors and interiors. Material selections and intricate details in the kitchens and bathrooms all serve to create a coherent sensorial experience for the occupants.
Architect Fitos states: “My mission in this world is to serve people and enhance their lives by creating quality living spaces that cater to their physical and emotional wellbeing. I take great pleasure in creating unique and inspiring spaces where life takes stage.
At Designology, the key considerations for architectural design are: comfortable level of daylight and good artificial lighting, conforming to human scale, integrating outdoors, incorporating nature, adding value to its context, appropriate proportioning of spaces, organizational spaces for a clutter-free life, good acoustics, integrated user-friendly technology to serve our 21st century lifestyles, an experimental aspect for authenticity and a poetic element to connect to the soul.”