By Jean Nayar | September 1, 2015 | Home & Real Estate
Miami-based starchitect Chad Oppenheim collaborates with developer Jacob Abramson on a Golden Beach property that offers resort-style condo amenities in a single-family home.
“We think of this house as modern with soul,” says Jacob Abramson, here outside The Ark.
Condo fans in search of prime property with ocean views in Miami might reconsider that commitment after seeing The Ark on Golden Beach. The new 9,000-square-foot, single-family house, developed by Jacob Abramson of Miami Golden Properties, was designed to offer amenities on a par with those of new luxury condo developments on Miami Beach—all within the context of a private home. With its mix of resort-like attributes and lush landscape elements, it is also poised to change the meaning of luxury living in its exclusive oceanfront community, where many celebrities, including designer Tommy Hilfiger and billionaire Carlos Slim, choose to reside.
“There are many modern homes in Miami, so we wanted to do something different here,” says Abramson, who enlisted world-class, Miami-based architect Chad Oppenheim to collaborate on the interior design and offer direction on the overall experience of the home. “Golden Beach is the only neighborhood in Miami-Dade County containing so many single-family homes and mansions with direct access to the ocean,” says Abramson. “That means we’re competing with the new-development condo market on Miami Beach, which offers high-end amenities like home automation, spas, and exercise rooms, so we felt it was important to have a Zen-like component here.”
The Ark’s main floor features a living room with an automated home-theater projection screen.
With the influence of Oppenheim, who is known for such groundbreaking designs as the proposed Marina + Beach Village in Dubai, Hudson Yards in New York City, and the eco-friendly Metropica community development in Sunrise, Florida, the dwelling brims with state-of-the-art features that promise to up the ante for the next generation of single-family homes in Miami. “We think of this house as modern with soul,” Abramson adds.
The only new-construction spec house in Golden Beach with ocean views, The Ark features three stories centered around a dramatic, peaked, double-height glass atrium, which floods interior spaces with natural light. Designed with a variety of terraces on all sides—the largest at the top overlooks the rooftops of neighboring houses and the ocean beyond—the house is also surrounded by water features on all sides, inspiring its name. As if floating within a well-equipped ark, “you’ll experience some body of water anywhere in this home,” says Abramson, who tapped landscape firm Naturalficial, widely recognized for its landscape designs for the Soho Beach House, 1111 Lincoln Road, and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, to craft the lush gardens and outdoor features of the property. “The grounds include 200 species of [native] plants that create a canopy around the mostly glass house and provide complete privacy and a greenhouse feeling within the home.”
The most visually impressive space in the home is the two-story atrium, perfect for entertaining.
The landscape also contributes to the eco-friendly qualities of the home. “The plants diffuse the natural light, and the green roof and terraces help absorb heat, so the air conditioning doesn’t need to run much of the time,” says Abramson. It also provides a foundation for the Zenlike atmosphere the developer and architect were seeking. A swimming pool with an overflow Jacuzzi sits just beyond the kitchen in back and adjoins the integrated cabana, which is ideal for quick changes after an afternoon at the beach. And anyone in need of an additional dose of water off-site can simply walk across the street to the Golden Beach Club and experience the ocean directly.
Oppenheim and his team applied their hands to everything from furnishings and art to integral sound, LED lighting, and home automation systems, which are manageable remotely by zones and easy to control with the touch of a button. The designers worked with the Italian firm Meridiani to craft custom-furnishings for the living spaces and six bedrooms with en suite baths, which are finished with travertine or white crystal tile floors. “This house offers some really spectacular moments,” says Constanza Collarte, lead interior designer at Oppenheim Architecture, who worked on the interiors. “Its unique volumes, double-height ceilings, and lushly landscaped exteriors called for furnishings that would really enhance these moments. We worked with Meridiani to hand-pick pieces that brought the interiors to life through soft forms, supple fabric, and tropical tones, which bring the outdoors in and balance the dramatic architecture in a delicate way.”
With this much natural light, the owners could practically sunbathe in the two-story atrium.
On the top floor, the sprawling 1,500-square-foot master bedroom suite is a living space unto itself with two expansive terraces (one with views to the ocean), an overscale, split-sided, walk-in closet, a spa-like bath with a steam shower, a soaking tub, plenty of room for a private in-house massage, and a midnight kitchen complete with essential accoutrements. On the main level, an open Italian kitchen, which faces the pool terrace, contains two sets of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances that keep things kosher and make entertaining a breeze. An expansive media room with a massive projection screen that rolls away when pictures aren’t in motion offers an extra recreational space for family and friends. Here, commissioned tapestries by Paris Kain, the edgy jewelry designer/video artist/ Renaissance man who has collaborated with highprofile celebrities and designers including Rosario Dawson, Calvin Klein, and Alexander Wang, provide vibrant finishing touches.
But what about the concierge service available at top new condo developments? Abramson has thought of that, too. He’s currently negotiating with an independent company, which, for the price of a yearly membership fee, will organize at-home massage services, provide a private chef, manage the home’s systems and landscape, offer housekeeping, and stock the fridge for guests or family members who may come and go. Listed for $7.7 million by Miami Golden, 480 Ocean Blvd., Golden Beach, 212-330 8262
photography by ra-haus