By Carolyn Weber Alberto Abad was out to shock his neighbors. The architect wanted his home to be the antithesis of the typical Mediterranean customs that compose 99 percent of his company's work.

"There are only two other really modern houses in Naples," says Abad, who didn't expect his house to be quite the landmark it has become. "People have had accidents driving by and staring."

Cypress wood throughout the design softens the sharp edges of the 3,051-square-foot home, which Abad describes as modern but not cutting edge. "The choice of materials came from my love of wood," he says. Wood and stone elements also complement the context, a 1.4-acre heavily wooded site.

The plan, which he first drew for a student affordable design competition at the University of Florida Architecture School, has evolved over the years. The basic square modules, with living areas on the first floor and bedrooms on the second, now include a detached, round garage and an in-law suite over the two-car garage. At $250 per square foot, Abad says the plan is very economical to build.

The round wooden garage looks like a large tree trunk and serves to buffer the home from the street in addition to providing a space for the architect's prized possession, an Audi sports car. "I wanted it separate from the main garage to keep the car from getting dings," he says.

Photo: Ed Chapell

Category: Custom home, less than 3,500 square feet; Entrant/Architect: New Architectura, Naples, Fla.; Builder: McGarvy Custom Homes, Bonita Springs, Fla.; Landscape Architect: ALD Group, Naples

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