Designed for Frank Prisinzano, Miami Beach, 2006 – 2015


The Sun Path House, a concrete structure in dialogue with a 1930s bungalow, uses the sun to foster the vitality and health of inhabitants. This three-story extension became a new center of living for a chef, his family, and their friends. An extensive kitchen forms a spatial connection to the old house. In the garden stands an outwardly spiraling wall that punctures a floating square volume, shading an outdoor dining area below. 

This curved wall is simultaneously structural, functional, and sculptural. Conceptually, the curve, which is based on the sun path diagram of the site, serves as the spine of the project. 

To face north, the top edge of the curved wall has been rotated 11.25º in relation to the property lines. In the middle of the wall, running along the square master bedroom, the curvature is parallel to the existing house. On the ground floor, the wall turns 11.25º toward the middle of the garden.

The rotation axis of this twist lies at the center of a spiral staircase, which wraps around the chimney of a wood-fired pizza oven. On the roof of the building is a solarium, where the wall maps the path of the sun on the summer solstice. At that time, the sun’s rays reflect off of the wall onto the surface of the deck. 
The wall blocks the wind, creating a sense of calm. Solitude can be found under the open sky in this space, which is free of the incursions of everyday life. Time spent in this contemplative space slowly reveals the house’s interactions with the sun. 


Project team: Joana Bem-Haja, Pino Pavese, Garrick Ambrose, Helene Nishijo Andersen, Jorge Rivera 
Local architect / AoR: Rizo Carreno & Partners, Inc. 
Structural engineer: Hector De Los Reyes Engineering. Inc. 
Electrical and mechanical engineer: Project Caine
General contractor: Cobo Construction Corp. 
Client: Frank Prisinzano

Materials: Exposed concrete, terrazzo, Carrara marble counter tops, bench and steps, wood, glass, marine grade aluminium and vines.

Photography: Photos 1, 2, 6, 8,10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 by Lukas Wassmann; Photos 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 18, 19 by Todd Eberle;Photo 17 by Casey Kelbaugh
 



Sun Path House