By Community News Release – June, 2023
Pinecrest is set to feature the second residence designed in the new ZenLux architecture style.
The ZenLux design aesthetic was developed by the Coral Gables-based architecture firm Permuy Architecture. The style is rooted in creating elegance and serenity through an emphasis on the elements and a sense of timelessness. Another signature ZenLux feature is the appearance of simplicity within layers of detail and nuance. This is supported by conceptual depth to enhance the long-term living experience.
Firm president Ignacio Permuy explains, “in a ZenLux project, you will feel that you are experiencing something between a resort and a large scale work of art. It is effortless and unique without chasing trends or forcing things.”
Notably, Pinecrest also was the site of the first pioneering ZenLux property: the Aqua Azure residence. The new residence, named Villa Al-Walid, references the ancestral and cultural background of the developer, Fouad Kraishan of Jordan. Another of the villa’s main design themes is the exploration and interplay of horizontality and verticality.
Height is introduced in unexpected but meaningful ways in Villa Al-Walid. First, it avoids the tendency to create a consistent second level throughout the property. Instead, it uses a unique phased approach, like the ancient ziggurats and stepped pyramids. To do this, height ranges from open air structures and single floor portions in the farthest limits of the property, to one-and-a-half floor extensions, and finally culminating into a full second floor with an open, double-height center in the main building: The Great Room, the heart of the home.
This is reinforced by another impressive architectural feature that converges there: the use of two intersecting axes of uninterrupted views across both wings of the property, as well as the entrance and backyard axis.
The design features several motifs that nod to Aqua Azure, such as the linear (rather than cylindrical) columns framing the Grand Entrance, the use of water features wrapping around the steps, and high windows throughout the residence. These form a dialog in design between the properties to connect one with the other while also exploring different elements in-depth.
While Aqua Azure centered on the element of water, Villa Al-Walid explores the element of earth. This is expressed primarily through the artful showcasing of various stones, stucco texturing, and wood. The stone used includes locally sourced oolitic stone and imported granite from the historical regions of Anatolia and the Levant. This symbolically bridges Kraishan’s ancestral homeland with South Florida in a subtle but powerful way.
The use of stone, Permuy said, also symbolically communicates timelessness, solidity, and continuity. It uses the same basic combination of material and principles found in the pyramids as well as Greek and Roman temples: stone blocks arranged in alignment with sacred geometry. In doing so, the Villa Al-Walid connects the ancient with forward-reaching approaches to contemporary design.
It also seeks to challenge what can be achieved with stone, such as a sense of lightness through slender shaping and interplay with glass. By contrast, the pronounced use of wood expresses another range of the earth element that balances the stone and brings warmth.
The Villa’s exterior also benefits from strong street presence. It features nearly 600 feet of street frontage, maximizing its placement as a corner site on Pinecrest’s prominent Chapman Drive. The design’s setbacks and elevation provide privacy while maintaining an open and inviting grand entrance. Another focal point to the exterior is a bold, modern fireplace with a chimney that acts as its own defining monolithic architectural feature and represents the element of fire.
Like Aqua Azure, the layout of the property is conceptually split in accordance with archetypal symbolism of the cardinal directions. Aligning with the peaceful and nurturing east, the villa’s East Wing is the domestic wing. Likewise, west is associated with evening and fluidity, therefore the West Wing serves as the entertaining wing of the estate. It is designed around a spacious indoor kitchen, family room, and an open-air covered cabana with a glamorous summer kitchen, bar, guesthouse, resort-inspired jacuzzi and pool stretching more than 60 feet.
Ultimately, the residence is primed to be yet another high-profile sale in the area underscoring the desirability of ZenLux as a design style. Aqua Azure sold for nearly $9 million in 2022 through Douglas Elliman, making it one of only nine properties to have ever sold for over $8 million in Pinecrest as of January 2023, according to The Real Deal.
Then there’s the growing profile of Pincrest’s residential community. The area is already an established premier luxury residential market that has attracted the likes of Jeff Bezos, Marc Anthony, and Dwayne Wade. Among its newest A-list residents is Miami Heat star Tyler Herro, who made waves with this $10.5 million purchase of a Pinecrest estate, breaking the record for the most expensive deal in the village’s history.
Villa Al-Walid is poised to easily shatter that record and make Pinecrest history upon its expected completion in 2024. As a corner lot of over an acre, the villa itself is set to measure more than 15,000 square feet, significantly larger than both Aqua Azure (11,349 square feet) and the Herro residence (9,505 square feet) and is conservatively estimated to fetch in excess of $12 million.