Creating a dream house from scratch would be an intimidating prospect for anyone. And yet, for some, it brings with it a high dose of excitement. “We spent a year and a half living in the old house during the design and permit phase,” José Mollá and Maria Cersosimo recall. “Then we had an unforgettable demolition party, with DJs and drummers playing while all of our friends painted graffiti everywhere and helped demolish the old house. It was the ultimate act of self-expression.”
Indeed. But what made the Argentina-born couple decide to build an entirely new structure in the first place had nothing to do with their clear love of fun. Instead, it was the soothing nature of the nearby ocean view, and the promise of direct access to the beach on Di Lido, one of Miami’s Venetian Islands.
The spacious two-story, 5,500-square-foot waterfront abode that architect Max Strang ultimately constructed makes for the ideal home for Mollá—the founder and chief creative officer of advertising agency The Community—and Cersosimo, a student of Buddhist philosophy. It also works splendidly for their two teenage daughters, Luna and Kayla, dog named Milo, and Siberian cat, Tara. On the ground floor, kitchen, living, and dining areas ultimately give way to an east-facing backyard, which includes a swimming pool. The pool was built with sukabumi, a natural stone native to Indonesia, in order to match the tones included in the panoramic view of Miami Beach’s other Venetian Islands. Upstairs, there are five separate bedrooms.
One of the biggest challenges Strang faced was elevating the house in anticipation of rising seas and strong hurricanes while maintaining a seamless connection to its garden and Biscayne Boulevard. “The style of this home is a direct response to its subtropical setting,” Strang says. “Deep overhangs and shaded breezeways create a modern aesthetic that resonates with its time and place.”
In the guest bedroom, vintage Danish bedside tables from JenMod, an Isamu Noguchi pendant, and pillows are Perla Nuñez make for notable standouts.
Throughout the abode, interior designer Sandra Weingort orchestrated her usual magic. “The owners’ positive spirit was contagious, and it was clear that we were very aligned both stylistically and spiritually,” Weingort says. “I had actually just moved to Miami after living in New York for 18 years, so working on this house was more than a job for me; meeting this family made my transition so much smoother, professionally and personally.”
Inside and out, the home is mostly covered in Italian travertine. “A month after we finished the house, we were walking around Art Basel and found a photograph by David Burdeny of the quarry where the travertine came from,” Weingort says. Fittingly, that piece now sits in the entryway.