This striking mid-century house is a beautiful example of tropical modernism, a style which emerged from South Florida in the 1950s. Designed by architect Darrell Fleeger in the early 1960s, it is located in the style’s heartland, Miami.
Besides the present house, Fleeger is credited with building the Architecture and Engineering Wing at the University of Miami in the 50s. But it is for this building, which he intended to serve as his own home, that the architect’s brilliance really shows itself.
We recently covered a house by another slightly more prominent proponent of the tropical modernist style, Alfred Browning Parker. Browning Parker’s house, the so-called Woodsong, demonstrated a wonderful opulence, with beautiful wood detailing throughout.
Compared to Woodsong, Fleeger’s is an altogether lighter proposition. Whereas the former comprises a great deal of dark, highly polished wood, Fleeger’s home stands out for the painted-white beams and its many windows.
In total, there are 57 separate windows throughout the property. To deliver this abundance, what seems to have been sacrificed, quite willingly, is the presence of any walls. As many other mid-century homes we covered, also this house is bathed in light and entirely exposed to the outdoors.
According to the current owners, this openness allows them to enjoy a delightful parade of wildlife passing by, including raccoons, possums, birds, reptiles, snakes, and all sorts of insects.
Also allowing for such a number of windows is the impressively engineered structure, with a beautiful, symmetrical geometric pattern of beams based around a large open plan living area.
Such a complex arrangement, along with a wing-shaped roof, sat atop a house with no walls, overlooking a bright sky blue pool, gives the house the unmistakeable appearance of a bird poised to glide off from its tropical perch. What a beauty!
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Photos by Mark Ingraham