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Design Team: Jaime Correa

Self-imposed difficulties help us generate emergent typologies. In his best-selling book, “Contested Symmetries”, Harvard Professor Preston Cohen says that, “Buildings fall prey to predicaments when architects, in attempting to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and to conceal all that must be done in order to do so, resort to the use of strange and/or exceptional forms.” In the case of the Three Ladies project, the generative difficulty came from a zoning rule prohibiting the use of vertical mixed-use buildings along the commercial Main Street of a new town near Bradenton, Florida; this predicament forces designers to produce commercial buildings not exceeding 15 feet in height; the typological emergence occurs when three ice-cream parlor owners (2 Portuguese sisters + their best friend) decide to retire within the confines of this new town. The emergent work/live typology consists of a patio house built in increments of 12 feet on what was supposed to be the parking area for a small Main Street ice cream parlor.  


The concrete building is built in increments of 12 feet. This work/live unit consists of an ice cream parlor with a semi-public roofed plazoleta in the front; an elongated yard separates the commercial portion of the building from the rear residential area. The residence, occupied by 2 Portuguese sisters and their best friend, expresses the personalities of these Three Ladies through the exceptional forms of the bedroom roofs and their colored-tiled lanterns; a long space is broken, by a kitchen space and a small chimney, into three sections: living/dining/entertainment. A rear pool terminates the vista of the entertainment area. Three internal patios provide light into the house.

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