Under the South Beach Sun

A penthouse terrace in South Beach embraces alfresco style to the fullest

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In recent years, Sofia Joelsson has become sort of the unofficial go-to designer when it comes to high-rise residences in South Beach. The Swedish native understands the challenges of generous floor plans and how to let million-dollar water views do the talking while also integrating the many musts her well-heeled clients demand. A recent commission involving the 3,781-square-foot terrace of the top penthouse of the One Ocean building on Collins Avenue put all those talents to the test.

“I wanted to make the rooftop an extension of the clients’ lifestyle,” says Joelsson. “A gathering place for family and friends to create amazing memories, and something that would leave their guests talking.”       

With the sun, surf, and towering structures on the southernmost point of the island as the backdrop, the designer set out to create several areas while maintaining a cohesive flow. The alfresco living room opens with a raised pool deck boasting elevated views of the beach and the downtown Miami skyline. Just a few steps away is a bar and dining area covered by a trellis with a retractable roof that casts just the right amount of sunlight and shadow. Another spot reveals a large seating area with conversational configurations. For each one, Joelsson relied on brands and materials that she knew could take on the harshest of weather: Tuuci umbrellas, ipe stained with oil, and faux turf that will never go brown.

The owners were delighted with the end result. “They are taking full advantage of the space,” says Joelsson. “It’s all about sunrise swims in the pool and sunset cocktail parties at this place.”

Story Credits:

Text by Luis R. Rigual

Photography by Emilio Collavino

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