4 Dog Trots
Sited along the Intracoastal Waterway with prime solar orientation to the southeast, this home design captures views and breezes in every room through its use of a “one-room-wide” cruciform plan with four courtyards at each corner. The “dog-trot” is a southern vernacular building planning strategy utilized to separate parts of a building by an open/outdoor/convertible space for purposes of ventilation.
This building employs four “dog-trots”, one in the entry, one at the crossing of the loft and living room, one on the end of the building for the granny suite, and one between the garage and main house.
The entry dog-trot is a two-story convertible entrance, made of operable glass, intended to be opened during fair weather where the visitor is welcomed by the ocean breeze blowing clear through from front to back. The dog-trot at the crossing of the living room and loft is also two story, designed to connect the kitchen, living, and loft space above through an insect-screened space that wraps down below to a screened porch separating the granny suite from the rest of the house. The granny suite dog-trot is sited at the end of the building, allowing for a place to sit and enjoy sea breezes, shade, and views of the water and private pool-courtyard. This dog-trot is also a place where a candy-stripe spiral stair from the master suite above lands below for easy pool access. The dog-trot between the garage and main house contains an outdoor kitchen and acts as a giant portal and “short-cut” to the private pool courtyard from the entrance courtyard.
The entire house, with the exception of the entry courtyard is wrapped by ten foot deep porches, making it possible to navigate the entire structure outdoors while remaining protected from the heavy wind-blown rains and intense sun associated with living on an open, water-front site. An outdoor, weather-proof kitchen is tucked under the eaves of a deep porch that acts as a planted, green-rooftop garden for the common loft space on the second level. The dramatic curved/vaulted roof over this rooftop space is supported by a tubular stair column providing access to the pool gardens below.