Longboat Key Home by Hive Architects

Redesigned in 2018 by Hive Architects, this modern single family house is located in Longboat Key, Florida, United States.


Passionate art lovers, the owners of this condominium couldn’t imagine displaying their cherished art collection in the existing space. Built in the mid-90’s, the interior spaces displayed numerous awkward angled walls, useless shelves created by partial height walls, and a heavy stair structure that encumbered the flow of the linear floor plan. The Owners’ desire was to create a warm and comfortable environment reflecting their love of family and friends, enhanced by the art they had collected.

With purity of form and materials as a required aesthetic, the conceptual idea for this project evolved in the direction that their art collection needed to be contained in a simple but elegant receptacle. As many ancient cultures have done in the past with their most valuable treasures such as food, perfume, or jewelry, the purpose of this container is to display but also protect the Owners’ collection thus creating a Vessel of Art (VOA).

To achieve the purity of form, the existing volume was simplified with the elimination of the angled walls and the extension of the partial height walls to the ceilings to create larger wall surfaces for art display. The existing grounded stair was replaced with a light cantilevered steel stair with glass railing that seems to float in space. In addition, the purity of materials resulted from the use of simple but honest elements. White surfaces create a uniform backdrop for the art, light wood paneling warms the space and separates one surface from another, glass doors and railings allow light to flow from room to room, and floating steel treads create the illusion that the stair defies gravity becoming in itself an art piece.

Photography courtesy of Hive Architects

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- by Matt Watts