Raising the bar: Miami architect Rene Gonzalez designs for rising sea levels

Farrey Lane House
A new exhibition, 'Rene Gonzalez Architect: Elevated Living', has just opened in the Miami's Meeting House gallery, exploring the American architect's work
(Image credit: TBC)

Throughout his career, American architect Rene Gonzalez (opens in new tab) has been exploring ideas of elevated living and raised housing - his fascination comes as a practical response to rising sea levels in and around his hometown of Miami. His inspiring designs are now on display for the first time at Miami's Meeting House (opens in new tab), in the new exhibition: 'Rene Gonzalez Architect: Elevated Living'. 

Featuring models, drawings, hand sketches - presented through Gonzalez's own sketchbooks - and photography, the new show, which opened in the downtown Miami gallery on the weekend, explores the challenges and possible solutions related to this increasing threat.

Three houses from Gonzalez's rich portfolio - Farrey Lane House, Golden Beach residence and Prairie Avenue residence - as well as his architecture school project thesis on Florida Keys, demonstrate a range of approaches towards building off the ground level. 

The projects are currently either already in construction or in design development. Spanning cantilevers, stacking methods and stilts, these houses may differ in their design response, but all serve as valuable case studies. In all cases, the ground floor is given a specific function, yet at the same time is allowed to flood, protecting the rest of the house. 

A series of talks by relevant experts will accompany the show, enhancing the ongoing dialogue around the issues touched by the exhibition. 

Farrey Lane House

The show explores Gonzalez's designs on elevating housing through key residential projects - pictured, Farrey Lane House. Image: DBOX, courtesy Rene Gonzalez Architect

(Image credit: DBOX, Rene Gonzalez Architect)

Farrey Lane View

The projects are currently either in construction or in design development and span different approaches around protecting a building from flood. Image: DBOX, courtesy Rene Gonzalez Architect

(Image credit: DBOX, Rene Gonzalez Architect)

models, drawings, hand sketches and photography

Featuring models, drawings, hand sketches and photography, the show explores the challenges and possible solutions related to the threat of rising sea levels

(Image credit: TBC)

case studies, talks issues touched by the exhibition

Accompanying these valuable case studies, a series of talks by relevant experts will enhance the ongoing dialogue around the issues touched by the exhibition

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

Rene Gonzalez Architect: Elevated Living runs untiil 14 November 

Images: Courtesy Rene Gonzalez Architect

ADDRESS

meetinghouse
The Huntington Building, 168 SE 1st Street, Penthouse
Miami, Florida

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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).