This contemporary concrete Miami Beach has an elevated, climate change-proof design, set above lush tropical gardens.
Rene Gonzalez’s design has a robust brutalist form, raised on stilts so water can run underneath it. The Miami architect built the home in 2018 as the first of a series of elevated homes in Miami Beach in response to the city’s increased flooding issues relating to sea level rises.
Prairie Residence hovers over a sculptural garden, accessed by a floating, retractable metal staircase that lifts, spaceship-like, into the middle of the house when not in use. Its design is inspired by mangrove forests whose roots tread lightly on the ground and allow for the easy flow of water.
The south Florida property comprises four connecting pavilions, with glass walls and voluminous spaces looking out onto gardens. Its central feature is its reception room, where full-height glass panes retract back to reveal hanging creepers, a lap pool and dense planting. This space also has a tilted concrete wall ‘floating’ above a long glass pane, peeking onto greenery.
Other interior highlights in the three-bedroom house include in-built concrete furniture, a seamless kitchen set against a wall made from reflective metal panels, and double-height glass walls. Throughout its colossal concrete interior are decorative recessed wall detailing and projecting forms, which give it a futurist look.