Vision, invention, and extreme dedication built what is arguably one of the most innovative and unique contemporary homes on Florida’s West Coast. The realization required the perfect synergy of client, design professionals, and builder.
“Much of what you see in this home is the product of vivid imagination,” explains K2 Design Group president and design principal Jenny Provost, “But imagining it and getting it into bricks and mortar on the job site—that is something that requires a truly dynamic team.”
The client had been renting an existing home on the magnificent wide-water lot in Cape Coral. After searching for the perfect property to build his dream home, he decided instead to purchase the rental home and tear it down, allowing him to keep the view he loved. With roots in South Africa where modern, contemporary architecture is prevalent, he enlisted friend, builder, and fellow South Africa native Lionel Wilson of Modern Homes International to build his modern mirage.
“I’ve built modern but never anything to this degree, so the creativity of what came through building this home was probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever had or ever will have. I’m referring to everything from the materials we used to the electrical, lighting, ceiling detail, and innovative design,” says Wilson.
The framework for the floor plan was crafted through on-site meetings between the homeowner and residential designer Richard Guzman of R.G. Designs. “When I met the client he showed me where he wanted his sofa to be situated to take advantage of the water view. Our goal was to eliminate any support columns that would obstruct the view, and to capitalize on that view from nearly every room. Across the back of the house we designed and engineered a 50-foot expanse with an uninterrupted vista.”
K2 Design Group’s Jenny Provost added her daring vision to Guzman’s framework, imagining and inventing the design with dramatic results. Much of what she and the client dreamed up had never been done. It required exceptional skill in execution, as well as a bit of good fortune. “When you are creating something for the first time, all that planning and putting it together can be for nothing if it doesn’t work,” Provost explains.
According to Wilson, many of the subcontractors were also learning new techniques or creating methods to execute the visionary design. “This is what we love to do. At the end of the day, what resulted was uncompromising quality—nothing was sacrificed.”
“I’m really proud of this project and the entire team that worked on it,” notes Provost. “This was a very complicated project with a client who pushed the limits. The client was the catalyst for making this as extreme as it became, and as exceptional as it turned out. It required us to work harder and think more cleverly.”
This home’s contemporary design features white-washed towers with extensive use of glass columns. The stair tower and glass elevator column add to the futuristic feel. A sliding solid wood gate reveals a lighted bridge across a modern day mote to the balanced entry door. Floating step stones hidden by the courtyard wall lead across the water to an exterior glass staircase. Glasswork, doors, and windows were sourced through Florida Glass & Aluminum.
The great room reveals the spectacular view through the pocketing 12-foot tall electronic sliding glass doors. The laminated walnut staircase envisioned by Provost and crafted in Wilson’s workshop, angles around the custom-built, glass, quartz, and stainless steel elevator. The fireplace surround is solid quartz with quarter-cut walnut panels and floating shelves. The ceiling detail, also conceived by Provost, ties the room together with the same walnut panels. A Minotti sofa complemented by Gyform chairs creates a comfortable seating area atop the Kravet area rug.
The upstairs hall reveals the elements of glass and steel in the front of the home and elevator design. Glass and aluminum handrails from Florida Glass & Aluminum line the open second story hallway leading to the guest bedrooms, exercise room, and office. The white Artemide light fixture spirals downward, softening the wood-beamed ceiling. A morning bar at the end of the hall serves guest bedrooms and the upstairs office.
The kitchen blends pure white with the strong warmth of the quarter-cut walnut panels. K2 Design Group drafted, engineered, and installed the Irpinia cabinetry throughout. Effervescent Sonneman light fixtures float above the glass countertops. Miele stainless steel appliances blend with the sleek design. At left, the bar area design replicates the tornado-shaped leg of the kitchen island. Above the bar a porthole reveals a salt water aquarium which mimics the weather and water temperatures in South Africa.
The striking master bedroom overlooks the water with sliding zero-corner doors. A teak ceiling and gypsum wall panels from K2 Design are again paired with elements of white. A large screen television is mounted on a pivot for viewing from either the lounging area or bed. Electronic shades are integrated throughout the home for privacy and room-darkening.
This dream closet includes a two-story design with porthole window, allowing sunlight to highlight the Italian walnut walls. An Axo light fixture waterfalls from the ceiling. Pianca cabinetry with floating shelves provides storage for totes and handbags, while drawers secret garments and softer accessories. At center, a rolling island provides jewelry storage and additional drawer space. A masculine steel staircase with glass rail by Florida Glass & Aluminum leads to the second level of the his-and-her space.
Italian walnut cabinetry by K2 Kitchens contrasts with white, statuary marble floor and walls in the master bath. Open and bright, the glass shower enclosure overlooks the water. Integrated shades provide privacy when needed. Suspended from the ceiling, Artemide vine-like painted aluminum LED light fixtures illuminate and add a modern organic element to the design.
The home office is equipped with a conference space, audio-visual capability, and a large balcony overlooking the water. The conference table and cabinetry were designed and crafted through K2, as was the wall cladding. Picking up the lighter element of the ceiling cladding, Provost used sand-colored leather Polflex boardroom chairs and a Desede desk chair. In this room and throughout the home, residential designer Guzman says much of the innovation is in what isn’t visible, “The lighting system capability, the way all of the mechanical equipment is hidden, the structural engineering—all of this adds to the overall uniqueness of design.”
The stepped theater features acoustic-rated wall covering and electronic room darkening drapery by Statewide Window Treatments. Provost combined custom two-toned luxury leather chairs and sofa with the high-gloss quarter cut paneled walls for a rich, warm feel. The electronics and audio equipment are hidden behind flush-finish panels at the front of the room.
The unique design of the home and infinity-edge pool follow the curve of the property. The design coupled with the ceiling elements give a distinct “cruise-ship” feel to the outdoor space. A fire pit creates a warm ambiance for the poolside bar. On the covered upper level, Wilson added a new porch cooling system to the outdoor design. Twenty-two “eyeballs” installed in the ceiling spray a high velocity mist which cools the ambient temperature up to 18-degrees. The upper deck includes a dining table, conversation seating, and an outside bar that mimics the same tornado-shaped leg design as seen in the kitchen.
Written by Lisa Mishler
Photography by Doug Thompson and Diana Todorova
Florida Glass & Aluminum, Inc.
17281 Alico Center Road
Fort Myers, FL 33967
25081 Bernwood Drive
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Modern Homes International
3321 Del Prado Boulevard, Suite 1
Cape Coral, FL 33904
R.G. Designs Inc.
28071 Vanderbilt Drive
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Statewide Window Treatments
2047 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109