Boaters passing through the inlet at the north tip of Palm Beach will have something new to look at, once a contemporary-style house rises on the “point” lot at 149 E. Inlet Drive, immediately west of the Palm Beach jetty.
After three presentations to the Architectural Commission, Palm Beachers Myron and Michelle Miller have narrowly won the town’s approval to build what architect Roger Janssen describes as an “island contemporary-style” house, its expansive windows designed to capture views of the ocean to the east and the inlet to the north.
The design approved 4-3 at the board’s most recent meeting will rise on a site that commissioners agreed was one of the most prominent on the island.
The initial design, presented in November, featured contemporary architecture tempered by traditional elements, including gables and peaked roofs. Commissioners ended up deferring that project and asked for refinements, especially to a tower element intended to reference lighthouses that dot the Eastern seaboard.
But by the time the house was reviewed in February, the Millers had taken a radically different approach, opting for a more modern-looking, flat-roofed house with in-your-face geometry. The architecture failed to win much favor with the board, who thought it needed to be “softer” to reflect a site bordered by water on two sides. The lot’s so-called “buildable” portion faces 250 feet of inlet frontage with another 114 feet on the ocean. The Millers paid a recorded $14.64 million for the property about a year ago.
The revised house approved by the board showed not only a reduction in scale but also reintroduced traditional elements that nod at West Indies-style architecture, including gables and sloped rooflines. There’s also more visual “rhythm,” as Jansen described it to the board, along with “stark, clear lines.” The house’s “minimalist” color scheme, he said, will feature a white-stucco exterior and a white roof but blue sashes on the windows, which will be fitted with blue-tinted glass.
“Most of the revisions were made in response to the ‘massing,’ the roofline and the character of the architecture,” said Janssen, principal with Dailey Janssen Architects in West Palm Beach.
The overall goal, Janssen added, was to make the design “more residential in character” while offering “something that would be exciting and dramatic (when viewed) from the waterway and the land.”
He also revised the beaconlike tower to become a more restrained cupola that would still act as “a very intriguing element on the roofline.”
The layout of the house also aligns with the Millers’ preference for an indoor-outdoor lifestyle, he said. The front door doesn’t open into the house itself but onto a pergola-covered breezeway that bridges the guest wing to the west and the main residence to the east.
One will walk straight through the breezeway to a lawn and pool area fronting the inlet and sheltered on three sides by the house’s exterior walls. That’s where the Millers plan to spend the bulk of their time with their young family, Janssen said.
“They really want to be living in this pool courtyard area,” he said.
The breezeway design won the enthusiastic endorsement of board Chairman Bob Vila. “I can see three generations barefoot in here,” he said. “It’s very Florida.”
Commissioner John David Corey liked most of the design but thought refinements were needed — and suggested removing the cupola entirely. The house’s blue-and-white color scheme, however, won his approval.
“I think it will tie very well with the inlet and the color of the water,” Corey said.
Vice Chairman Michael B. Small, who lives on East Inlet Drive, said his neighbors were most concerned that construction not block traffic on the narrow street and that all of the “staging” of construction materials be confined to the site.
Small joined Corey and Commissioner Maisie Grace in voting against the project. Grace was concerned that the overall look of the house wasn’t a good fit for the neighborhood and said she liked the first design from November better.
But casting his vote with the majority at the March 28 meeting, Commissioner Robert Garrison liked Janssen’s revisions.
“I think it’s greatly improved from the last house,” he said.
The property for decades was home to an unassuming one-story house built in the 1960s. The Millers bought it in March 2017 in a deal brokered on both sides by Lawrence Moens, of Lawrence A. Moens Associates.
Source : https://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/local/palm-beach-oks-contemporary-home-for-site-where-inlet-meets-ocean/zu5wAHEbOpz65TvCl3Y6kK/