March 13th 2012

rosemary beach: resort to style

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If you’re not familiar with Rosemary Beach, Florida, I wholeheartedly recommend a road trip.

Situated along the beautiful beaches of Walton County on Scenic Highway 30A, this bucolic hamlet is one of  the “New Urbanist” developments from renowned town planners Duany Plater Zyberk. I visited last week and was stretching to remember when the now-dense town consisted of one lone carriage house (designed by our friend and future town architect, Richard Gibbs) surrounded by vast acres of native scrub. That was over 15 years and hundreds of houses ago. Today the development is a vibrant, bustling coastal village teeming with resort activity.

We’ve had the privilege of designing 15 homes in the Village, ranging from Gulf front estates to humble carriage houses. Providence even favored us with three commissions in a row along the town’s Eastern Green. Given the small lot configurations and strict design restrictions, each house was an exercise in problem solving. The main design challenge with these type homes is fitting 10 pounds of program efficiently in 5 pound bags. Market in resort areas dictates getting as much into as little as possible. That’s been part of the fun of it, I suppose. Solving the “needs” puzzle all the while coloring within the lines. Oh, and it has to be stunning to boot.

While the guidelines of Rosemary Beach are indeed strict, they do allow the architect to have diverse and creative stylistic interpretations. Therefore, all the homes we’ve designed here intentionally differ in appearance and feel. They’re like characters at a crowded shindig, each with a unique personality and something of value to add to the mix.

So, if you’re looking for a stylish, dynamic and beautiful vacation spot this Summer (or any time of the year), check out this casual beach party. You’ll be glad you came.





2 comments

  1. I recently visited and was so impressed with the variation within the guidelines. Such a great example of new urbanism at its’ finest!

  2. James says:

    Visited for the first time last summer and really loved it there. I didn’t have enough time to take in all of the great architecture, but I will be back soon.

    I especially liked seeing the Benecki house in person. Always interesting to see the details that I haven’t already seen in pictures.

    Now that I have seen more of your Rosemary projects in this post, I’m going to go looking for them.

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