Winter Park Lake House emerges from the landscape around a series of open courtyards. Steven Harris Architects and interior design firm JHID navigate the undulations of the site through subtleties internally, with a sense of clarity and boldness binding their linear approach.

In responding to an area’s existing architectural fabric and contextual references, there is a tendency to follow suit. In this case, however, the opposite is the case. While large and overbearing homes surround Winter Park House, the team of collaborators chose to engage with the site in a more restrained manner and instead curate forms that gracefully traverse the sloping terrain.

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The scale of the expansive interior spaces is further emphasised through the layering of luxurious and immersive textures and textiles.

With lakeside views and a cluster of 200-year-old oak trees at the centre, the formal approach to the home was never going to be traditional. Steven Harris Architects’ approach was to open the forms to the elements and encourage the landscape to play an active role in the functionality and sustainability of the home. As a result, a series of interconnected forms coalesce around open courtyard-type spaces of varying sizes.

Formed from Modernist principles, the low-lying spans of the home are emphasised by the consistent use of a white plaster that spreads between them. Generous insertions of glazing then connect visually and allow sightlines to remain uninterrupted. Framed openings connect the interior to the landscape, encouraging natural ventilation and movement across thresholds between inside and out.

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As an expression of place, the oak trees remain within view, bringing a key natural element and texture into the core of the home. Both internally and externally, a light palette of finishes comes together and creates a serene retreat for the owners. A palette of refined elements then sits in contrast to the surroundings.

Although spread across one level, the expansive nature of the home ensures a matched feeling of grandeur as a home with multiple levels. Through an active engagement with the landscape in all areas of the home, JHID and Steven Harris Architects create an immersive and discreetly removed pocket of calm.

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Volumes surround a central internal in-ground pool, tucked into the inner fabric of the home yet open to the elements above.

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