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2012 Award of Merit - New American Home
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Project Category:  Residential

Project Name:  New American Home 2012

Project Location: Winter Park, FL 32789

Date of Completion: January 2012

Landscape Architect:  Redmon Design Company - Scott Redmon, ASLA


Landscape Contractor: Keller Outdoor - Bobby Keller

 Owner: Phil Kean Designs 

This landscape blends the excitement of a sculpted modern design with the benefits of a 100% Florida native planting design in an effort to show that they are not competing ideas or philosophies. This project was toured by over 7,000 people as The New American Home 2012 for the International Builders Show to showcase the latest design trends, products and services for the residential housing market across the country.  The New American Home 2012 on an infill site in an older neighborhood close to downtown. Amenities within walking distance include shops, restaurants and a public library. 

As landscape architects for this exciting project, we used this platform to help bring the use of native plants to the forefront of the conversation regarding sustainable design. We engaged the Florida Native Plant Society and the Association of Florida Native Nurseries because we knew their endorsement of the project was important for all sides and to coordinate availability of plants. Our firm wanted to ensure that the project would look dynamic and impressive on the day it was installed and that it would rival projects that are not native designs. 

Our scope of services included Grading and Drainage Design, Hardscape Design, and Planting Design. The plants were designed in harmony with the grading and drainage scheme by using water loving plants in the retention areas and others in drier areas of the site. We have portions of the site that are planted in mass in very geometric shapes other areas of the site that are planted in more of a wooded fashion to maximize biodiversity and provide as much habitat for birds as possible. Once the exotics were removed, the only existing trees was a cluster of Sabal Palms in the front yard and a large Laurel Oak in the back.

As an infill lot, privacy was also very important, as the house backs up to four story condos. A wall of Paurotis Palms were used in the pool area for privacy instead of the Bamboo the owners wanted. Flatwoods Plum Trees create an alee in the front yard which frames a piece of sculpture. The Yucca aloifolia in the front yard is a visual feature from inside the house as well as the outside. In fact, it is really hard to tell where the inside spaces end and the outside spaces begin throughout the property. That fundamental thought was paramount to the design of the architecture, as well as the landscape architecture.

We used artificial turf in the front yard and dog run because the clients really wanted lawn space and there is no Florida native turf grass that would be predictable enough. Ultimately the entire site will not need regular irrigation, while still providing lots of visual interest and privacy. 

Hardscape materials were chosen to create contrasting forms and textures and work into our modern design theme. We were limited to using materials from vendors who were sponsors for the show house. Long narrow strips of limestone were used for the outside terraces and synthetic wood decking is around the pool area, The wood decks and the space under them was critical to the drainage scheme, as that is where we directed the drainage for storage and distribution to other areas of the site.

A shared driveway with the condos in the back of the property is how the owners access the garage, but a more interesting car parking area with ribbons of raw concrete and Mexican beach rocks is in front of the house for guests.


 Architect: Phil Kean - Phil Kean Designs

                       Photography: Laura Jo Boynton, Marketing Brand Manager - Timberlake Cabinetry

 Photography: Michael Pelzer - Uneek Luxury Tours, LLC

 Photography: James F. Wilson

 Consultant: Cammie Donaldson - Florida Native Plant Society - Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN)

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