Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 112359 thumb

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture

By AD Editorial Team

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd5ce58ece7e10000088 brillhart house brillhart architecture exterior dusk credit stefani fachini 530x302

Architects: Brillhart Architecture
Location: River, , FL, USA
Area: 1500.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd15e58ece892500007a brillhart house brillhart architecture bookscases credit stefani fachini 125x125 Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdf6e58ece8925000081 brillhart house brillhart architecture porch credit stefani fachini 125x125 Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdc3e58ece7e1000008b brillhart house brillhart architecture master credit bruce buck 125x125

From the architect. LIVING IN THE LANDSCAPE
This 1,500 sf house, which draws upon the American glass pavilion typology, Dog Trot, and principles of Florida Modernism, provides a tropical refuge in Downtown Miami. Elevated 5′ off the ground, the house includes 100 feet of uninterrupted glass – 50 feet spanning the length of the front and rear facades, with four sets of sliding glass doors that allow the house to be entirely open when desired. The house includes 800 sf of outdoor living space, with front and back porches and shuttered doors along the front for added privacy and protection against the elements. These details, and the position of the house, which is at the center of a 330-foot long lot, allow the house to meld seamlessly with the site’s dense and lush native landscaping.

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdf9e58ecea943000089 brillhart house brillhart architecture rear exterior credit stefani fachini 530x304

As owners, architects and general contractors, we physically built most of the house ourselves. Tectonics, materiality and the logic of construction became of primary interest. In a part of the country where concrete is the primary construction material, we opted for a more sustainable steel and glass superstructure, explored a combination of wood finishes, and made continued investigations into construction assemblies and innovations.

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdf6e58ece8925000081 brillhart house brillhart architecture porch credit stefani fachini 530x356

DESIGN CONCEPTS
The design for our house relies on a back-to-the-basics approach – specifically studying old architectural models that care about good form but are also good for something. Each design decision was organized around four central questions that challenge the culture for building big: what is necessary; how can we minimize our impact on the earth; how do we respect the context of the neighborhood; and what can we really build?

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd48e58ecea943000083 brillhart house brillhart architecture exterior credit stefani fachini 530x263

OLD MODELS FOR FUTURE BUILDINGS
Dog Trot
Some answers came from a place with which we are already intimately familiar – the seemingly forgotten American Vernacular, and more specifically, the Dog Trot, which for well over a century, has been a dominant image representing Florida Cracker architecture. The small, simple, and practical building is both modest and rich in cultural meaning. It attempts to maximize efficiency, space, and energy; relies on vernacular building materials; and celebrates the balmy breezes.

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd37e58ecea943000082 brillhart house brillhart architecture 001 floor plan 01 01 530x397

The Glass Pavilion Typology and Tropical Modernism
The glass pavilion typology and the principles of Tropical Modernism also provided direction. Thanks to a booming concrete industry in Miami’s backyard, Miami-Dade County has developed an almost relentless adherence to building in concrete, such that the idea of building in anything else would seem absurd. There is an unfounded, albeit pervasive, belief that the costs associated with building a residential project in steel and glass would be exorbitant; that there isn’t enough skilled labor on hand to build such projects, and so on. Ironically, we have old models from South Florida’s Tropical Modernists – dating back to the 1950s and ‘60s – of structures made of concrete, wood, steel, and hybrid systems. Simple, rational, efficient, cost-effective buildings that celebrate the tropics, these designs lend feasible and innovative alternatives for Miami’s future buildings.

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdc3e58ece7e1000008b brillhart house brillhart architecture master credit bruce buck 530x353

South Florida’s postwar architects – such as Alfred Browning Parker, Rufis Nims, Robert Bradford Browne, Mark Hampton, Paul Rudolf and Ralph Twitchell, William Morgan, Donald Singer, Gene Leedy, and others – gave birth to a tropical modern school of thought and developed their own regional interpretations of the International Style by turning to local landscape, climate and materials to inform their designs. In an era of optimism and experimentation, these architects married building traditions with passive systems, new technologies, and innovative construction techniques. Emphasis on construction methodology was central to their work and became a model for sustainable design in the tropics.

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd69e58ece892500007c brillhart house brillhart architecture 008 house axon 01 01 530x397

As part of our research, we analyzed the original construction documents from four residences built during South Florida’s Post-war period. First diagramming the design intent, we then made newly constructed axonometrics (shown above, left) that break down the material selections and systematic (architectonic) assemblies. As models, these four projects display an incredible range of materials and building systems. As a visual tool-kit, they served as a tremendous resource for us on this project.

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd88e58ecea943000085 brillhart house brillhart architecture kitchen credit bruce buck 530x551

CONSTRUCTION AND DETAILS
Steel and Glass Superstructure
Harking back to the optimism and experimentation of South Florida’s postwar architecture, we sought an alternative to the use of concrete and concrete only, instead exploring steel and glass as the superstructure. As a result, we wasted fewer materials, simplified the assembly, and reduced the cost and time of construction, all the while allowing for increased cross ventilation and a heightened sense of living within the landscape.

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebe01e58ece7e1000008d brillhart house brillhart architecture section final lr for web 530x285

Glass and Insulation
With today’s advances in thermal qualities of glass and insulation we were able to use the Tropical modern concepts alongside current Florida Building Code requirements. To meet and/or exceed the required R-Values, we included insulation on all six sides (icynene and rigid insulation); as well as 9/16″ thick thermal glass. We also had to design new assemblies in the process. For one, the new code just came out with requirements to insulate the floor if elevated. As this is a new requirement — we had to develop an entirely new floor detail – creating a sandwich with plywood underneath and on top of a layer of rigid insulation. Meanwhile, in order to achieve the R-Value on the roof and accommodate a slight slope, we designed a similar but inverse concept – installing tapered rigid insulation on the roof, with a layer of plywood underneath followed by icynine below. (The R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry. It is expressed as the thickness of the material divided by the thermal conductivity. The higher thenumber, the better the building insulation’s effectiveness. The design for the roof insulation resulted in a R-Value that exceeded what was required.)

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebda2e58ece7e1000008a brillhart house brillhart architecture kitchen credit jake brillhart 530x376

Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd5ce58ece7e10000088 brillhart house brillhart architecture exterior dusk credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd88e58ecea943000085 brillhart house brillhart architecture kitchen credit bruce buck 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd15e58ece892500007a brillhart house brillhart architecture bookscases credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdf6e58ece8925000081 brillhart house brillhart architecture porch credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdc3e58ece7e1000008b brillhart house brillhart architecture master credit bruce buck 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd48e58ecea943000083 brillhart house brillhart architecture exterior credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd38e58ece7e10000087 brillhart house brillhart architecture door detail credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdf9e58ecea943000089 brillhart house brillhart architecture rear exterior credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd89e58ece7e10000089 brillhart house brillhart architecture guest bath credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebda2e58ece7e1000008a brillhart house brillhart architecture kitchen credit jake brillhart 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdbfe58ece892500007f brillhart house brillhart architecture kitchen detail credit stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd19e58ece7e10000086 brillhart house brillhart architecture brillhart house kitchen left image credit bruce buck right image stefani fachini 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Courtesy of Brillhart Architecture  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebddfe58ece8925000080 brillhart house brillhart architecture master bath credir bruce buck 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Axonometric  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd69e58ece892500007c brillhart house brillhart architecture 008 house axon 01 01 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Floor Plan  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd37e58ecea943000082 brillhart house brillhart architecture 001 floor plan 01 01 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Elevation  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd67e58ecea943000084 brillhart house brillhart architecture elev1 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Elevation  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebda5e58ecea943000086 brillhart house brillhart architecture elev4 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Elevation  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd9fe58ece892500007e brillhart house brillhart architecture elev3 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Elevation  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd87e58ece892500007d brillhart house brillhart architecture elev2 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Elevation  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebdbde58ecea943000087 brillhart house brillhart architecture elevations 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Section  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebd40e58ece892500007b brillhart house brillhart architecture 003 section green 01 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Section  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebe01e58ece7e1000008d brillhart house brillhart architecture section final lr for web 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Sketch  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebde6e58ecea943000088 brillhart house brillhart architecture  house sketch 125x125
Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture Diagram  Brillhart House / Brillhart Architecture 54eebde8e58ece7e1000008c brillhart house brillhart architecture kit of parts 125x125

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ArchDaily/~3/4pgtLPXyAmI/