ARTHUR MARCUS ARCHITECT
The Villa Matti is a U.S. Government / Department of H.U.D. financed six story, 36-unit rental apartment building for senior citizens. All units are 1-bedroom / 1-bath and average 514 SF per unit. The building has completed construction and is currently accepting residents through a county-wide waiting list application system.
The building is designed to acknowledge the rich art deco architectural legacy of Miami Beach while ensuring that this is a contemporary building very much of our own time. The porthole windows and the concrete sunshades recall deco details yet they are utilized here in a way to emphasize that the Villa Matti was not designed to look like public housing.
The building has been designed to fit into its dense urban neighborhood in a contextual manner while making the structure inspiring to those who understand that public housing does not need to be banal and unappreciative of its locale.
The irregular stepped feature of the apartment plans was an effort to design each unit with as much view as possible in this tight urban neighborhood located two blocks to the beach. Even apartments in the rear of building offer peek-a-boo views of the surrounding cityscape through spacious corner windows in almost all apartments - which serve to visually enlarge the relatively small apartments.
Due to quite restrictive budgetary limitations the Architect immediately realized when awarded the commission that in order to survive any type of value engineering, the design of this building must be derived directly from its concrete building structural elements.
The building is the design. Thus the structural elements of the building have also necessarily become the major design elements.
© ARTHUR MARCUS ARCHITECTURE + PHOTOGRAPHY