Shadow and Light Make an Impression in Coconut Grove

Clever light trickery and other design ruses transform this apartment into a sophisticated residence with artistic details galore

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After stepping through the pivoting front door of this Coconut Grove condo, one would be hard-pressed to believe that the 2,400-square-foot space was once dark and closed off. That’s because architect Oscar Glottman, known for “freeing projects,” performed feats of architectural sorcery to create a sleek, neutral-toned space that serves as a backdrop for his client’s art collection and maximizes the stunning views of Biscayne Bay. 

Working within narrow confines with 10-foot ceilings meant that Glottman had to get creative with storage to give the impression of minimalism without sacrifice. “It became a laboratory of tricks that we had to come up with,” says the designer. One of those touches was smart storage spaces for the client’s belongings and unsightly wiring. 

A horizontal plane running the length of the apartment from the living room to the dining room above the kitchen was a sophisticated way for Glottman to hide the lighting mechanics and add an eye-catching layer to the ceiling. “With light and layering, we were able to give [the apartment] a sense of depth that is mostly an optical illusion,” he says. The “cloud” of this feature is punctuated by an oculus over the dining room table where a banquette serves as a terminus to the axis. “At the same time, it allows for lounging and having conversation after dinner as if it was a living room space.”

The artful use of light further enhances the sense of grandness in the intimate space. “In general, the concept of lighting is to use it as a building material and to think of it just as if it was drywall,” says Glottman, who moonlights as a lighting designer. “Light and shadow make a big impression in the way they are utilized.” In an entryway vignette, for example, Glottman placed slender Venetian glass leaves in front of equally slender recesses in the wall. “The light seeps through the cracks in the wall to illuminate the back of the Venetian glass leaves, which now kind of float in this space,” he explains. In the powder room, Glottman “painted with light” by using objects from the client’s travel collection, such as an Egyptian scarab figurine, to create shadows that can change depending on how the tiny light lenses beneath them are positioned.

The best projects are born out of a good synergy between architect, designer, and homeowner, and this residence epitomizes that crucial relationship. “The client here enjoys the process of the design and pushed us to think of every detail of the project as a project unto itself,” says Glottman about this collaborative process, which allowed him to create four pieces of art that are woven into the home. One in particular—a dissected photograph of a sunrise printed on a floor-to-ceiling mirror placed next to a bay-facing window in the living room—plays with the lighting and accomplishes the goal of maximizing the water views. The dynamic piece appears to change throughout the day as it catches the reflections of the bay and the Miami sky at various hours. “I think it’s most beautiful when it’s a cloudy day with a really blue sky filled with fluffy clouds,” says Glottman. “That’s when you truly feel the extension of the outside into the inside.”

Story Credits:

Interior Architecture and Design by Oscar Glottman, Glottman Anteprima, Miami, FL

Text by Lia Picard

Photography by Troy Campbell, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources 

Living Area

Sofa and love seat – Minotti, Design District, Miami, FL

Decorative black chair – Vittorio Bonacina, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Round cocktail table – Minotti, Design District, Miami, FL

Square cocktail table – Minotti, Design District, Miami, FL

Ottoman – Minotti, Design District, Miami, FL

Bar cabinet – Vintage antique, Owner’s collection 

Cube sculpture designed by Oscar Glottman, Miami, FL and fabricated by MJ Mirrors and Glass, Miami, FL

Dining Area/Kitchen

Table – Laura Meroni, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Chairs – Cor Moeble, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Banquette – Cor Moeble, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Chandelier – Viabizzuno, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Photograph – Roberto Edwards, Holden Luntz Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

Wall and island cabinetry designed by Oscar Glottman, Mari Aviles, and Lissandra Castillo, Miami, FL and fabricated by Laura Meroni and Marco Garcia, Miami, FL 

Primary Bedroom

Bed and headboard designed by Oscar Glottman, Miami, FL and fabricated by e15, Miami, FL

Bench – R &Y Augusti, Owner’s collection 

Pendant lighting – Viabizzuno, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Wall cabinetry designed by Oscar Glottman, Mari Aviles, Lissandra Castillo, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL and fabricated by Laura Meroni, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Track lighting designed by Oscar Glottman, Miami, FL and fabricated by Viabizzuno, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Photograph – Roberto Edwards, 1995, Holden Luntz Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

Digital photo print – Oscar Glottman, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Guest Bathroom

Cabinetry and vanity designed by Oscar Glottman, Miami, FL and fabricated by Laura Meroni, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL

Guest Bedroom

Bed and headboard – Holly Hunt, Design District, Miami, FL

Photo wall – Mirage, Oscar Glottman, 2020, Miami, FL

Art chair – Pratt Chair #7, 2018, Gaetano Pesce, Italy 

Ceiling designed by Oscar Glottman, Mari Aviles, and Lissandra Castillo, Miami, FL   

Lighting components – Viabizzuno, Glottman Anteprima, Wynwood, Miami, FL and fabricated by Marco Garcia, Miami, FL

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