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HOUSING: Casey Key Main House, Osprey, Florida

The Main House, the largest of three structures on a family coastal compound, is a U-shaped courtyard structure elevated on piles to meet FEMA requirements. The central garden space, "the largest room in the house", is located where 117 non-native, invasive Australian pines once grew. The courtyard concept enables each of the primary rooms to share a common foreground landscape, and at the same time focus on the Gulf as the extended site. To the east, a mature oak hammock gives the property a sense of age and permanency. The design organizes a large program into a sequence of spaces around the courtyard that are detailed and scaled to impart a relaxed setting to the family retreat. The Owner requested a design that would age gracefully and develop an attractive patina. To this end, copper, stone, and wood were selected to establish an organic material palette, expressing a sense of permanence. On this property each of the coastal ecosystems: gulf, beach, dune, garden, house, oak hammock, mangrove, and inter-coastal bay are clearly distinguishable. Throughout the long, thin core of the home, large glass doors pocket into wall cavities revealing these environments from Gulf to Bay.