Traction Architecture designed the Seagrape House for a couple who wanted a weekend home on Anna Maria island in the Gulf of Mexico. The island the home now sits on is a barrier island with constantly changing beach topography. This constant shifting of the dunes became the muse for the project as the architects envisioned the new home to be an anchor – the one constant – for the ever-changing tide lines.
During the course of the construction the dunes went through a growing stage, almost doubling the distance between the house and the sea, but with the whim of mother nature the newly expanded beaches will once again erode away, magnifying the constant permanence of the home itself.
Built with poured concrete to withstand the hurricane force winds, the home presents a facade of dramatic cantilevers.
Concrete columns lift the home up and over the dunes, elevating the interior living spaces up and over the highest of the high tide lines brought on by storm surges.
By elevating Seagrape House the natural dune flora and fauna can also flourish in the protection of their concrete guardian.
A deck in the shape of a megaphone creates a void within the exterior profile and its shape does what any megaphone will do – it magnifies the sound of the crashing waves.
A concrete staircase with steel balustrade leads the way from the dunes to the entry, located under the 2nd storey overhang.
A second all steel stairwell takes you back down to the swimming pool and outdoor lounge area.
Inside a third stairwell features more steel with the addition of cypress wood treads.
With a wedge shaped footprint the home has both volumetric and thermal efficiencies without sacrificing the amazing oceanic views. Seagrape is in fact the first LEED Platinum certified home on Anna Maria Island partly due to the photovoltaic panels that supply the bulk of the home’s energy requirements.
Bedrooms where designed to be tranquil spaces of respite and feature cypress wood built-ins that act as frames to the Mexican Gulf with the idea that the artistic seascapes will encourage creative thinking and contemplative study.
A time capsule filled with family mementos has been sealed into a shear concrete wall to reinforce the home as both an anchor of the ever-changing season and as an anchor to the past as the children grow up.
Photography by Moris Moreno