San Juan, Puerto Rico - 1995
This large ocean front house, originally designed in 1948 by architect William Biscombe, was totally remodeled for a professional couple with one child. The design aimed to reinforce the view and the pedestrian connection from the house to the beach while making the maximum use of the lot.
With this in mind, a "plaza" was built off (on the north side facing the beach) the ground floor living areas with a lap pool on one of the larger sides for framing the ocean view. Flanking the "plaza" to the east, a minimalist pavilion with modernist lines accentuated by flat roof and steel lally columns, was built, Opposite to this, a bridge/gallery was designed to "contain" this outdoor space and also to connect the main house to the annex (once only an isolated volume on the site containing the garage). Thus, the landscape is broken down into layers in order to relate visually and sequentially the beach front with the house.
Some of the materials and finishes used to create this effect are bricks and "argamasa" (a polished mix of mortar and crushed brick) for the finishing of the plaza, local "bechara" stone for low walls, and plaster. The front yard was incorporated with the living room via louver doors and defined with new lateral patio walls and perforated metal fence.