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House of the Month // by Brillhart Architecture

This month I’m going outside the box and looking at a beautiful house designed by Brillhart Architecture, who are based in Florida in the US. Normally, I like to narrow my focus to Australian and New Zealand architecture but I could not go past this lovely little prototype-type house that is deliciously pared back, vernacular inspired, and perfectly suited to its site and context. It inspires very positive things in me regarding the state of architecture in the world.

Brillhart House, Miami Florida

The house is is very simple in format and extremely efficient in terms of square meters. At approximately 150m2 the design accommodates two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large dual aspect living and dining room, a kitchen, an entry, and a large screened porch reminiscent of historic Florida architecture.

What appeals so much about this house is indeed how well suited it is to its site and context. Balmy Florida breezes, hot summer afternoons, all-drenching rainfall – these contextual factors are so distinctly at the heart of the design that everything about the space just works. Not only that though – every space here invites habitation. I can completely picture sitting on the screened porch amid a humid summer downpour, or sitting inside in the dimmed light by the library wall, feeling the breezes pass across my skin on a warm spring evening. None of this would make sense if this house were somewhere else – if it weren’t perfectly adapted to the nature of its natural context and the constraints that this context provide.

There are certainly elements of this house that would be enviable in any situation – its see-through nature, overtly open relationship to the surrounding lush gardens, its fluid and yet deftly defined open plan living, cooking and eating spaces, and its delicate management of the threshold between inside and out. Yet the truth is that there aren’t many climates that can successfully accommodate these elements in a truly livable manner, and again, this is why this space works so well.

Also of note are the wonderful design development and presentation drawings and models that the firm use throughout the design process. For more detail from the architects head to their website.

All images by Claudia Uribe. Sourced from Brillhart Architecture


Site: Location, context, vernacular precedents.


The site; the white-roofed house can be seen at the center of the image.



Building diagramming; the ‘dog drot’ area at the center of the house is dedicated to areas of standing and movement. The rooms that flank this space are for repose and rest.


Design sketch


Design model


Structural axonometric drawing showing the central ‘dog trot’ area accommodating the entry ad kitchen.






PrintSection for WebSection-final-lr-for-web elev2

elevations Kit-of-Parts














About the Author:

Our principle designer Poppy is a Masters of Architecture graduate from the University of Newcastle, Australia. She graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours, received the Dean's Medal and was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter Masters of Architecture Graduate of the Year prize. In 2010, Poppy received the Eric Parker Travelling Scholarship encouraging the research and drawing of architecture.

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