Next came the new construction, which presented Hernandez and his team with a few challenges. The aesthetics needed to be inspiring yet cohesive, and the rooms had to function as both living spaces and galleries. “The homeowners have a magnificent collection of artwork,” the architect says. “He told me that he wanted to be surrounded by it, to have the art living with his family. So we worked together on the placement and grouped pieces by period and theme.”
Hernandez explains that the design for each room centered around the artwork selected for the space. In addition, the team added a long gallery space that connects the waterfront terrace of the original house to the new elevated living areas. “It is 50 percent glass and 50 percent artwork,” says Hernandez. “There’s an 8-foot stretch of windows and then an 8-foot stretch of wall with displays. You get to see the landscape and the art. The view is south-facing so that the art is protected from the sun while the gallery space is bathed in natural light. It’s also a functional space the family can use to read, gather, study the art, and circulate from one part of the house to another.”
In addition to an appreciation for artwork, Hernandez and the homeowners shared a sensibility for preserving the landscape. With help from landscape designer Cecilia de Grelle, they moved existing plants and trees and added some new ones to the mix. “Everything was saved,” notes Hernandez.
With renovations complete and exterior surroundings in place, it was time to bring the entire look together. Interior designers Veronica and Myriam Hernandez of Ladrillo II, Inc., joined the team and helped highlight the painted and sculpted beauty of the home. Says the architect, “We had such a talented group working on this project. Indeed, it was not lacking in inspiration.”