PROJECT: Residence The Ranch
LOCATION: Orlando, Florida, United States of America
AREA: 2200 m2
ARCHITECT: Rania M Hamed
PHOTOGRAPHER: Koen Van Damme
A Dubai-based interior architectural firm unveiled a luxurious residential design within the Four Seasons Orlando Resort in Florida. The idea was to provide a Tuscan transformation within the interiors of the Ranch.
The interior architect and founder of VSHD say “From the onset, we realized that we were facing numerous challenges with this project. In addition to strict regional building and environmental codes, there were requirements imposed by Four Seasons Resorts to ensure that the residence blended stylistically with its neighboring properties.”
The client’s vision was to provide the theme which was modern and luxurious yet warm, comfortable, and ideal for entertaining the guests. In order to implement a Tuscan theme within the interiors of residence the Ranch, the challenge was to maintain some existing structural elements. Moreover, the client envisioned a boutique-style hotel environment that would provide both family and friends with privacy and luxurious amenities, even in the absence of the owners.
So, to achieve this challenging balance, the concept was to modernize the external Tuscan façade, while infusing contemporary luxury which clearly aligns with the client’s vision.
Tuscan architecture embraces natural, rustic elements, and thus, materials such as brick and wrought iron have not been used in abundance. Instead, a contemporary contrast of white walls to the façade, with black frames of expansive French windows, gives a Mediterranean style to the house. Above the external façade windows are the grey brick overhangs, and also the passages within the house give homage to the Tuscan influences.
Also, to compliment the structural design, The VSHD focused on the outdoor spaces that include a swimming pool. The Mediterranean look and feel achieved with the use of European limestone tiles, stylish planters, and luxurious sunbeds.
The interior consists of working with timber structures as opposed to concrete beams and columns. Hamed says, “I saw beauty in some of the original structural elements and I wanted to maintain as many of them as possible. So, I decided to leave some of the exposed beams intact, as opposed to hiding them behind a layer of gypsum.”
As soon as, someone enters the house, there is Carrara marble flooring carrying the influences inwards, where Tuscan-style arches define the separation of the home’s interior spaces, reinforced by clean, modern, and slightly protruding architraves. The architraves, composed of black matte stained oak. This further contrasts with the interior’s white walls and light grey marble flooring. This provides a very contemporary look and feels in the public areas of the home.
Hamed also focused on ensuring seamless continuity between the home’s interiors and exterior spaces. Consequently, the exposed wooden beams were maintained with layers of dark stain and black metal trim.
Living spaces give more intimate experience by the use of Carrara marble flooring giving way to hardwood floors.
The main floor features a master bedroom, highlighted by contemporary décor. Direct access to the adjacent pool area and outdoor shower, designed as a vision of an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. The master bedroom’s spa-inspired adjoining spaces include a freestanding bathtub as a centerpiece of a spacious bathroom, featuring an individual toilet and shower cubicles. The bathtub flanked by a wall of floor-to-ceiling French windows on one side and dual washbasins with custom-designed mirrors on the other. In addition, a spiral staircase further leads to an upper-level gym area which features a steam room and waterjet shower.
The Ranch carries 6-upper level guest suites, extending spa-like amenities, half of which offer private external access for guests. Each self-sufficient guest suite is equipped with a mini kitchen, a small pantry, and a spa-inspired bathroom.
Hamed explains “We incorporated Chines, Spanish, and Multiple other influences in order to provide each suite with its own distinct character and mood.”
The client’s vision of a boutique-style hotel extends to the home’s main dining room, inspired by Italian architect Ettore Sottsass. A ‘modern-retro’ black and white console from Italy contrasts against a wall panel of gold leaf wallpaper, bordered by marble. The panel’s adjacent walls characterized by ribbed white paneling with a stained wood base. While a cloud lighting fixture from New York’s Apparatus Studio provides add a celestial touch to the room.
In order to tie the interior spaces together, VSHD Design developed a new patio space at the center of residence the Ranch. This creates stimulating visual links between multiple areas of the house. To separate the pool area from the patio, and to connect the master bedroom to the living spaces. The design team built an enclosed lanai with four expansive French windows on each side. This infuses the passage with natural light.
The abundantly lit corridor is lined with wicker chairs, creating a fabulous reading room. This gives a feel of an open space courtesy of pool views to the left. Whereas it carries patio views and greenery to the right. At the end of the passageway, a staircase to the left ascends to the second level of residence the Ranch. Alongside are the floor-to-ceiling windows. These further overlook the patio and offer views of the lanai and other external spaces.
Rania Hamed explains “By blending traditional elements with a modern contemporary mix, we succeeded in achieving a contrast that works well”