Shibusa Residence by Hive Architects

This inspiring single family house located in Sarasota, Florida, was designed by Hive Architects.

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Description by Hive Architects

After the purchase of a long and narrow property along Big Sarasota Pass, the Owners’ desire was for the design of their future home to reflect their simple, uncomplicated but refined lifestyle. With simplicity of form and materials, the conceptual idea for this project derives from the Japanese word shibusa. This concept encompasses an enriched, subdued appearance or experience of intrinsically fine quality with economy of form, line, and effort, producing a timeless tranquility.

With the lift of the structure above base flood elevation as a zoning requirement, the Owners’ aspiration was to inhabit modest but carefully interconnected pavilions that levitate above the tropical landscape. The simplicity of form is achieved through the configuration of the L-shaped structure that is composed of two rectilinear pavilions. Containing the public aspects of the program as well as the Owners’ quarters, the main pavilion is carefully carved out to open itself toward the water views of Big Sarasota Pass. This uninterrupted view becomes the common datum that links the spaces of the open floor plan and the adjacent rooms. Separated from the main pavilion by a transparent two-story entry stair, the private elements of the program are gathered in a long and narrow volume. The orientation of the guest pavilion takes advantage of the internal courtyard containing a tropical garden with lap pool while also providing additional water views. The cantilevered extension of this volume above the private courtyard entry screen enhances the essence of the floating structure as if it was reaching out to capture the views of Bayou Louise on the opposite side of the property.

The delicate expression and detailing of architectural elements further reinforce the simplicity of the structure while addressing the local climate. Strategically placed vertical shading screens, deep overhangs, and nested windows emphasize the integrity of the structure by their adaptation and interplay with the Florida sun. The careful composition of repetitive but limited material palette of exposed board-on-board concrete on the ground floor, vertical composite wood shading screens and siding on the elevated structure, and white portland cement plaster provide a gesture of unity as well as an understated elegance and timelessness.

Photography courtesy of Hive Architects

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- by Matt Watts