Refining Relaxed Elegance in a Place Where All Roads Lead to the Beach
Alys Beach, Florida
- Duany PlaterZyberk & Company (DPZ) / Marieanne Khoury-Vogt, Khoury & Vogt Architects
- Alys Beach, Florida
- Project Year
In Alys Beach, Florida, time stands peacefully still. Bright blue skies are the backdrop for the crisp, brilliant, white walls of this resort community’s architecture, inspired by the buildings of Bermuda and Antigua, Guatemala. Here, on Florida’s west coast, the focus on relaxed rejuvenation blends sustainability, community and beautifully simple harmony.
The award-winning architecture of the homes and buildings in Alys Beach has its roots in the master planning of New Urbanism pioneer Duany PlaterZyberk & Company (DPZ). Designed for walkability, interaction and environmental efficiency, the roads and paths of this 158-acre luxury-lifestyle community do lead to the white sand beaches and azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and also to a number of parks and dining and gathering places.
DPZ’s architectural vision for Alys Beach married the typology of the courtyard houses found in Antigua, Guatemala with the architecture of Bermuda. “It’s a very distinctive architecture, and very fresh in this area,” says Marieanne Khoury-Vogt, one of Alys Beach’s two Town Architects, along with husband Erik Vogt. The pair founded Khoury & Vogt Architects.
The white walls and roofs of Alys Beach make up an expansive canvas where detailed dimension and bold color create the community’s vivaciousness. On columns, brackets and balcony railings, splashes of vivid color infuse rich character. Distinguished rooflines with all manner of arches, angles, and pyramidal and rounded shapes, create an undulating rhythm and uplifting sensibility.
“With the architecture being inspired by Bermuda, our construction and architectural palette is relatively limited, in that we deal mostly with block. Even our roofs are concrete,” Khoury-Vogt notes, adding that building envelopes are constructed to Fortified...for safer living® standards. “We look for ornaments to help soften that look, from brick mold around the window, to exposed rafter ends on the underside of the roof, to shutters. All of these elements help soften the architecture and make it more visually appealing when somebody’s walking down the street.
“The shutters we specify, Atlantic Premium Shutters, complement our architecture very nicely. The functionality and architectural correctness of the shutters is extremely key, and their design is an integral part of the expression of our Bermuda-inspired design.”
Throughout Alys Beach, Bahama, Louvered Colonial and Raised Panel shutter styles from Atlantic’s Architectural Collection add to the spirited ambience. “A top benefit for us is the shutters’ fiberglass construction. The oldest ones we have are five years old – they look brand new,” Khoury-Vogt says.
“They have a great look, they weather very, very well in this corrosive, salty-air environment and they don’t have to be stripped, primed and repainted every ‘x’ number of years. Atlantic Premium Shutters provide a wide variety of options, in terms of both color and style, allowing homeowners a tremendous amount of flexibility.”
Vibrant shutter colors in green and blue hues have proven most popular with homeowners, according to Khoury-Vogt, while red and brown colors such as Wineberry and Walnut are also well-received. Manufactured by Atlantic Premium Shutters, a division of The Tapco Group, these shutters’ comprehensive 40-color spectrum includes seven shades of green and six shades of blue.
Many homeowners also choose Atlantic’s custom-color capability. “We have worked with Atlantic to make sure we matched the color of the shutter with the color of the brick mold in all of the windows, and that was a very easy process. It’s great to be able to turn to Atlantic and have it match the exact color we were using,” says Khoury-Vogt.
While the majority of the residences in Alys Beach are attached courtyard homes, other residence types include villas and compounds. Oftentimes, homeowners use a combination of Bahama and Louvered Colonial styles. Both offer full functionality, while the Bahama shutters are a natural coastal fit with simple elegance and design utility allowing refreshing Gulf breezes into homes while limiting direct sunlight. “We encourage homeowners to add shutters, not only for privacy, but because it makes complete sense with the architecture,” Khoury-Vogt says.
“The courtyards are a unique feature of this project,” she notes. “They become secondary or tertiary rooms to the house, where you have public rooms that can open up onto courtyards that often have pools and fountains. It becomes a wonderful, private space to enjoy.” On occasion, shutters are also used within courtyards, where a window opens onto the courtyard and the homeowner wants that window to have the ability for privacy.
Wherever they are installed, Khoury-Vogt appreciates the architectural correctness and full functionality of Atlantic’s shutters. “We see so many shutters applied in houses where they are misused, and you can very plainly see where the shutters will not span the whole opening when they’re in the closed position. It was very important for us that the shutters’ architectural correctness be met. We allow for space to mount fully-functioning shutters. It is an integral part of the design and we make sure that shutters are considered early on, so we’re not left with an awkward look where shutters won’t completely close over a window opening.”
Khoury & Vogt Architects had not previously used Atlantic Premium Shutters, but now recommends them. “On this project, we worked with a number of architects who have used Atlantic,” Khoury-Vogt notes.
“We’ve had an excellent experience with Atlantic Premiums Shutters. From the installation on down, it’s been seamless and really pleasant. The Atlantic web site is easy to navigate, including the selection of holdbacks and shutter styles. And there’s been no difficulty, which is a great thing to eliminate in architecture.”