Portico House - Miami (USA)

In & Out

Portico House is a private residence that makes the most of Florida's favourable climate thanks to its combination of high-quality interiors, liveable outdoor spaces and eco-sustainability
Roberto Negri
Greg Clark
DEN Architecture
Caribbean Construction
Valencia Coverings
Year of completion

Portico House is a private, single-family residence designed by DEN Architecture, a Miami-based architecture and interior design firm renowned for its sustainable, environmentally friendly approach and its focus on energy efficiency and extensive use of locally sourced natural materials. With a floor space of just 200 square metres, the home is relatively small by the average standards of US suburban mansions, but makes up for this thanks to an extraordinary exterior consisting of large covered porches, internal courtyards and scenic green areas. As well as expanding the available living space, this focus on the exterior space also blurs the distinction between indoors and outdoors, allowing the inhabitants to make the most of Florida’s pleasant climate and connect with the surrounding lush natural environment which occupies every corner of the unbuilt space of this striking location. Described by project leader German Brun as an example of “permeable design” based on the use of local tree species, wooden structures and pools of water, this single-floor property with its discreet yet distinctive architecture blends harmoniously into its surroundings while respecting the scale and design of typical local residences. But in Portico House, nature is not only an integral part of the décor and living space, it is also a powerful ally in creating comfortable, energy-efficient spaces with a small environmental footprint. Faithful to its green, eco-sustainable philosophy, DEN Architecture began by carefully planning the orientation of the residence, whose north and south elevations are sheltered by sun-screened porticos and exposed to the sea breeze, which cools the rooms during the hottest hours of the day. A hyper-insulated envelope and low-emissivity windows and doors also help to regulate the indoor microclimate and optimise the building’s performance, while energy requirements are met by photovoltaic panels installed on the roof. The project’s eco-minimal design approach is also reflected in the choice of materials in which wood and stone are placed alongside industrial solutions emulating the textures and colours of nature. One of these is the Basaltina Stone Project porcelain tile collection from Lea Ceramiche, used here in the Sabbiata Velvet and Naturale versions for all the floors. Thanks to a well-balanced mix of fine clays with feldspar, quartz and kaolin additives, they faithfully reproduce the elegant grey tones and minimalist aesthetic of natural stone. “We use only high-quality Italian porcelain tiles in our projects, and here too we opted for a collection that delivers great compositional freedom thanks to its variety of sizes and finishes along with low maintenance and excellent durability, allowing us to present our work in the best possible light,” explains German Brun.

Basaltina Stone Project by Lea Ceramiche
porcelain stoneware
60x120 cm
Sabbiata Velvet, Naturale
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): LA HA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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