The Brillhart House, one of the most celebrated examples of contemporary, tropical modern architecture, is up for sale for the first time.
The home, which has earned numerous honors, has been featured in the Netflix / BBC series, “The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes”; is listed as one of the top 100 buildings in the United States (Archdaily), and is ranked one of the five best houses in Florida (Dezeen).
Built in 2014, the Brillhart House is located in the center of a 325’ long lot, in the historic neighborhood of Spring Garden. As one of the only remaining single-family neighborhoods in downtown Miami, Spring Garden stands out as an emerald hamlet within the City. The uniqueness of the site (more than the length of a football field) — and its beautiful canopy of tropical foliage — creates the perfect setting for “living within the landscape.”
The two-bedroom, 1500 sf home was designed and built by architects and owners Jacob and Melissa Brillhart of Brillhart Architecture. The design is essentially an elevated glass pavilion (raised more than 5’ off the ground), situated between two verandas that add another 800 square feet of living space. The front porch, with louvered doors — one of the home’s most distinctive features — functions as a true outdoor room. It also provides privacy from the street, offers shade, and captures the cooling southeast trade winds. The interior includes large and flexible living spaces and sliding doors across the front and back that allow the house to be entirely open when desired. Floor-to-ceiling windows spanning the full width of the home in either direction offer expansive views of the landscape beyond, revealing the site’s remarkable depth. With an open, airy feel; tall ceilings; plentiful indoor/outdoor space; and long views of both the front and rear gardens, this private, secluded home is both tropical and spacious.
Conceptually, the design of the house draws upon a rich architectural heritage. In addition to the American glass pavilion, the couple also referenced the Florida vernacular “Dog trot” typology and earlier Florida modern designs. These references, which are steeped in cultural meaning, also offered time-tested environmental solutions for living in the tropics.
Architectural detailing, as well as the more atmospheric aspects of the space, were also painstakingly considered. Stepping up and into the front porch, one can feel a noticeable cooling, while the operable louvered doors cast dramatic and ever-changing shadows into the space. Real American cherry was used for all of the interior millwork to offer a sense of warmth and materiality. The privacy of the site, the quiet nature of the neighborhood, and the simplicity of the design also create a distinctive feeling of tranquility.