One Energetic Couple Joins Forces With A Talented Design Team To Create An Edgy And Eclectic Residence Where Miami Meets The Waterfront
Architectural and Interior Design:
Giorgio and Claudine Lostao, Ridiculous Design LLC, Olympia Fields, IL
Matthew Glac, Charleston, SC
Alexander Rodriguez, CRR General Contractors, Inc., Davie, FL
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At a vibrant intersection of Miami’s urban Shorecrest community on the Upper East Side and its scenic Little River waterway near Biscayne Bay, this 4,100-square-foot Modern Industrial residence, running longitudinally from street-side to waterfront, looks and feels right at home. “My intent was to build a one-story raw metal and concrete block house. I wanted a modern house in the middle of the city that wasn’t the typical ‘white box’ ubiquitous to our area,” says the homeowner, an advertizing executive who lives with his musician wife and their two young children. “This is also a fascinating and emerging area. It’s edgy, artistic and industrial. All kinds of people live here. I wanted the house to fit the eclectic and unique nature of the neighborhood.”
When the couple commissioned the architectural and interior design team of Giorgio and Claudine Lostao to help execute their vision, the two-year project began. “Our client loved this lot, its back opens to the Little River and the Biscayne Bay beyond, and its front, very urban. You see billboard signs, traffic and retail businesses,” Giorgio says. “That’s how we came up with the idea of the ‘spine’ — a connector that runs from front to back, with six enclosed pods attached. In between the pods are courtyards and the pool.”
Inspired by its surroundings, the home’s entire structure is built of concrete block, corten steel, galvanized metal and hurricane-resistant glass. “Our goal was to build something sculptural with a mix of materials in their natural state that would have an awe-inspiring scale, yet be comfortable to live in as a family,” the homeowner says.
Concrete steps up to the front entry, where the door opens into a gallery hall styled with stained poplar-clad wood walls with vertical strips, concrete flooring polished to a high sheen, and a light installation that took 7,000 bulbs and more than two weeks to install. “Giorgio is also an amazing artist, a Renaissance man of sorts,” the homeowner says. “He designed the incredible light installation that runs the entire length of the spine, through to the main living areas that overlook the waterfront.”
Giorgio also designed the concrete-block gas fireplace that sits between the living and dining areas. Here, the poplar-strip wall finish repeats to warm the space. “There is so much concrete and steel everywhere. The wood makes the space feel timeless,” the designer says.
Low furniture profiles, including those of the dining area’s chairs that surround a glass-topped table, draw the eye to the view and the activity outside. An over-scaled circular chandelier makes a statement in the adjacent living area, where a deep-seated sectional sofa and a plush pair of upholstered lounge chairs shape a comfortable conversation grouping.
“There’s a bird sanctuary out there,” the homeowner says. “We’re two blocks away from the bay, so we often see manatees and dolphins. It’s very peaceful. Yet from the front of our home, we catch the billboards on 79!”
Across the great room, the kitchen’s dark, charcoal-gray wood composite cabinetry with steel pulls is simple, industrial and edgy. “The island is designed in a wide U-shape, with lots of space for food prep and easy meals,” Giorgio says. “It’s where the family gathers and entertains.”
Private spaces call for private pods. The master bedroom’s diamond-tufted headboard wall faces not only a ceiling-mounted television set, but also an outdoor infinity edge swimming pool that fills up an entire adjacent courtyard. “I call it a no-nonsense pool,” Giorgio says. “You’re either in it or out of it. It has a sunning ledge built in for lounging and relaxation, with umbrella holes below the waterline … there’s no need for a deck.”
The sleek master bath, with its horizontally striated marble-clad wall, is located behind the master bedroom. Overlooking a garden courtyard, it’s double vanity, walk-in shower with Ipe wood flooring, and sunken concrete tub exude a spa-like aura.
Another pod contains the eldest child’s room. Though the daughter is elementary school aged, the room is designed to grow with her as she enters her teen years. This space takes full advantage of the higher ceiling height in the front of the home as a spiral stairway ascends to an upper loft for sleeping.
“This home suits us so well,” the homeowner says. “We’re a casual family with kids and dogs running around. We wanted all the interior and exterior spaces to be a part of our daily life, and they truly are.”