For 34 years, the National Association of Home Builders’ Leading Suppliers Council and Professional Builder magazine have collaborated with architects, builders, product suppliers, home technology consultants and green building consultants to build a “New American Home” in conjunction with the annual International Builders’ Show.
This year’s home, designed and built by Phil Kean, architect and principal of the Phil Kean Design Group in Winter Park, Florida, is a contemporary-style lakeside home with a golf course view located in the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, home to numerous professional tennis players and golfers.
The design of the one-level house, which has 8,245 finished square feet, was inspired by the lavish mid-century modern houses in Palm Springs, California favored by Frank Sinatra and other members of the “Rat Pack.” The house is on the market for $5.929 million.
Kean designed the house to function in separate pods attached to each other by both open courtyards and walkways and covered, glass-enclosed breezeways. The pods offer energy-efficiency benefits since when not in use, some areas can be switched to “maintenance mode” just to keep humidity levels low. Energy-efficient appliances, green building techniques and solar panels combine to make this a “Net Zero” house that produces as much energy as it uses. Nearly the entire house has glass pocket walls that can be fully opened, with 40-foot wide screens that can descend from above when needed at the push of a button.
The pod system separates the bedrooms into three different areas of the house and allows various parts of the house to be fully open for entertaining a crowd or closed off for more intimate occasions.
The pods are configured in a figure-8 pattern, with a courtyard with a putting green and palm trees in the middle of one section and a beach-entry swimming pool with a hot tub in the center of the pool in the outer courtyard. In between the courtyards are two covered lanais that flank a glass-enclosed great room with a bar and a wine room.
At the front of the house is a self-contained suite of rooms for a nanny, caregiver, in-laws or long-term guests that includes a living room, a kitchenette, a bedroom, a full bathroom, a laundry room and a private outdoor patio.
Three guest rooms, each with a walk-in closet and full bathroom, have glass walls facing the putting green as well as entrances to an enclosed hallway that runs around the perimeter of the house to connect these rooms with the kitchen and other rooms without needing to go outside.
The master suite of rooms is in a separate wing of the house and includes a bedroom with a fireplace, a walk-in closet with a safe room in case of a dangerous storm and an outdoor sitting room with another fireplace. The master bathroom includes a freestanding tub and a “wet room”-style open shower with multiple shower heads and a bench. The showerheads can be programmed for each user.
Adjacent to the master suite and next to the swimming pool is a glass-enclosed spa that includes an exercise room, space for a massage table, a steam room and a powder room.
When every glass wall in the house is opened, it’s difficult to tell when you are indoors and when you are outdoors. In addition to the open-air putting green and swimming pool area and the master suite’s outdoor sitting room, there’s an outdoor kitchen and bar area with seating and a dining table next to the pool. The house also has a roof terrace, accessible from a glass staircase and an elevator, that has a second outdoor kitchen and bar and two seating areas, each with a fire pit.
The main level also has an indoor kitchen and dining room with glossy white cabinets, a dark gray center island and a built-in dining table constructed from an enormous solid piece of reclaimed wood. The state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances include a coffeemaker that can make eight different brews of coffee. Many of the appliances as well as the pantry are hidden behind glossy doors and set into drawers.
Adjacent to the dining room is a family room or TV room that also has access to the central great room, which has a bar and a wine room. The focal point for the great room is a four-sided glass-enclosed fireplace with crystals on the bottom that can be programmed with different colored lights.
The house also has a golf-simulator room with a bar and a game room next to the swimming pool. The four-car garage includes a dog washing station.
While not every feature of the New American Home translates easily to new homes in the Mid-Atlantic region, the themes of indoor-outdoor living, a sleek kitchen with a rustic touch and flexible spaces can all be found in new homes in this region, too.
All photos courtesy of Jeffrey A. Davis Photography, Inc. This story originally appeared in the March/April 2017 edition of New Homes Guide. Reserve your free copy of the New Homes Guide print edition today.