Set long and narrow across a lakefront lot of a budding new community west of Orlando, Fla., The New American Home 2006 looks good from any angle of approach. As the only house in the subdivision so far, and probably the largest even at build-out, it had better. But regardless of that circumstance, it's obvious that the design-build team took great care in making sure every elevation—in fact, every detail—stands well on its own.
That's a necessity for any well-designed architectural endeavor, but especially when you're a big, fancy house like this one: nearly 7,000 square feet of conditioned space, not counting four garage bays and another 1,100 square feet of covered outdoor area. There is potential for monotony along any elevation.
So it's broken up smartly, with a dramatic tower splitting the center of the front façade as one of several elevation changes, but also with a mix of wide clapboard siding and stucco accented by deeply recessed windows and covered entries, two styles of shutters, and even a whimsical tile treatment on the turret. Together, these elements summon a Mediterranean revival scheme envisioned by the project architects, like one of those manor houses on a British-colonial Caribbean island ... or New World peninsula.AN UNLIKELY MARRIAGE
That a nearly 7,000-square-foot, two-story, five-bedroom house targets a semi-retired seasonal buyer is a testament to the whims and wealth of the well-heeled looking to wing south when New York or Boston gets too chilly more than to building large and luxurious simply for the sake of it. So it caters to the decadent desires of occasional occupants. So what?
Here's what: It has a heart, too. Asoft spot for the environment—just like its boomer owners, with their fond memories of their flower power youth. Only this time, they can do more than picket and protest; they can purchase the means and the methods to save energy and resources, use sustainable materials, and reduce the impact of even this large footprint on the environment.
An unlikely marriage? Maybe. But in The New American Home 2006, it works.
Opulence is encouraged and enabled, with the environmental stuff tucked neatly and unobtrusively behind the walls, on the floors and ceilings, and within the appliances and windows. The Joneses get what they want day-to-day while soothing their consciences over the long term. Everybody wins.PROJECT DETAILS
Project: The New American Home 2006, Lake Burden at the Lakes of Windermere, Orlando, Fla.; Size: Approximately 9,500 square feet (6,981 square feet conditioned); Builder: Hannigan Homes, Orlando; Architect: WCI Architecture & Land Planning/WCI Communities, Bonita Springs, Fla.; Interior designer/Merchandiser: Saxon-Clark, Orlando; Landscape architect: Redmon Design Co., Maitland, Fla.; Consultants: IBACOS Consortium (Building America/U.S. Department of Energy), Pittsburgh; the Florida Solar Energy Center, Cocoa, Fla.; and the Florida Green Building Coalition, Cocoa; Sponsor: The NAHB's National Council of the Housing Industry (NCHI/Supplier 100), Washington; Media: Hanley Wood, LLC (BUILDER magazine), Washington