Nurmi Isle House I

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • East view of entry courtyard

  • Southwest view from Rio Cervantes Waterway


House 1 explores the opportunities in combining the two smaller lots into one larger property. In addition to providing more space for a larger house, the increased property size allows the design to incorporate more exterior space and to integrate more fully with the site and the canal.

The design incorporates two distinct courtyards: a smaller more public entry courtyard oriented to the street and a larger more private garden courtyard oriented to the canal. The “wrapping” of the courtyards with the structure of the house creates light-filled public and private spaces in an ‘S’ shape plan.

The middle, or connecting point of the ‘S’ shape plan is a large living room with floor to ceiling glass walls overlooking the entry court to the north and the garden court to the south. To the west, the living room opens to a corner dining room with views to the garden courtyard, pool and canal. North of the dining room, a large kitchen, breakfast room and office flank the waterway and form the west side of the entry court. Access to the garage and to the 2nd floor master suite is from this area.

Moving south from the entry hall, a glass enclosed passage flanks the west side of the garden court and provides access to a library, media room and guest rooms. A large pool house with fireplace and bathroom is located along the south edge of the site and forms a backdrop to the dining room’s view of the pool across the garden court.
With the one-story garage to the north and the one-story pool house to the south, the ‘S’ plan of the first floor converts to a ‘zig-zag’ plan on the 2nd floor. The drop-off in massing on the 2nd floor allows more south light to enter the garden court and presents a more modestly scaled house to the adjacent neighbors.

On the 2nd floor, the master bedroom suite in the northwest corner of the house and the guest rooms in the southeast corner are linked by a large rooftop terrace and glazed passageway.

The master bedroom features floor to ceiling glass walls overlooking the pool and garden courtyard to the south and the waterway to the west. 4-feet cantilevered balconies and roof overhangs provide shading along the glazed walls.
Also included in the master suite are a private sitting room and study, each with balconies and views of the canal.

Each of the guest rooms in the southwest corner of the 2nd floor features private balconies and sloped, clerestory ceilings.

Use of outdoor space is an integral part of the overall scheme. Rooftop terraces include a large screened-in space with a unique undulating roof line above the master bedroom and a private sunning terrace above the pool house.