Reader's Choice: Lasting Impressions By Carolyn Weber and Christina B. Farnsworth

Name: Krieger House

Location: Pinecrest, Fla.

Year Built: 1992

Architect: Barry Sugerman

Why it's relevant: The home demonstrates leading-edge details and as encyclopedic design vocabulary.

Jonathan Fels says he still borrows the design techniques and inspiration he learned from building houses designed by Miami architect Barry Sugerman.

Fels, a builder and president of Avatar Properties in Coral Gables, Fla., says, "Sugerman has one of America's best architectural vocabularies." He cites Sugerman's attention to detail: bridges that connect building elements, windows at the end of corridors. In one home the owners' initials were subtly incorporated into a contemporary railing design.

Sugerman is masterful at delivering what his clients want, Fels says. He is equally adept at designing homes inspired by Le Corbusier's Ronchamp church as he is at traditional residential styles. Sugerman's forte is designing homes that are both emotionally warm and stylistically contemporary. Fels says no one is better at transforming an ordinary house through remodeling.

"I became a client as much as a builder," Fels says of Sugerman. "It was an uplifting experience, each time, to sit across a table from Barry. Working with him as a builder had a great impact on me and drove my first decade of success."

[Photo: Barry Sugerman]

Sugerman's Krieger House started trends, Fels says--including animated ceilings, sculpted walls, built-in furniture, reveals and shadow lines that keep the eye moving, art niches, and backlighting, just to name a few.

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