The Southern Florida House exemplifies the continuing dedication to simplicity in the architecture of Richard Meier’s houses. The shared goal of the client and architect was to create a timeless work true to the principles of light and space. Through close collaboration, the client and architect achieved an organizational parti that reflects the couple’s passion for the arts while also satisfying the pragmatic needs of a family with three young children.
Nestled in a serene lakefront site along the main boulevard in Palm Beach. the house engages the landscape with several architectural elements. The solid and stepping vertical planes at the entrance court seamlessly unite house and landscape. The entry ramp, the raised platform of the main floor, and the floating roofs direct and frame the flow of space throughout the program. The floor and walls of the house extend beyond its structure, traversing the landscape and connecting the house with the sculpture garden, playground, swimming pool, and pool house.
The interior features towering walls and ceiling-height glass windows with views of the lake on three sides. The punctuated roof, terraces, and open space enable a dramatic interplay of light and shadow both inside and outside. The split and layered skylit gallery and entrance hall, the core service zones, and the main rooms are composed together in a dynamic yet simple layout. The two roof planes hover over corresponding glass volumes that compose the house: one section contains a two-story living room, dining room, kitchen, and second floor master suite; the other section incorporates a family room and library on the ground floor, and the children’s bedrooms on the two floors.
The details on both the interior and exterior of the house are minimal and precise, adhering to strict local code requirements. Materials include glass, steel, limestone, metal panel, and plaster-all of which are in hues of white (despite their various textures) and carefully balanced and juxtaposed with each other.