Classical Italian Baroque Architecture
Original sketch design above, first front elevation revision below
First rear elevation design above. See as-built photos which follow
Villa Serena, classically inspired architecture, by John Henry AIA, NCARB
Nestled behind pines and oak trees on a secluded road and sited on a gradually sloped crest with a spectacular view to pristine Lake Butler, lies a magnificent estate designed along Renaissance sensibilities but containing all of the latest contemporary amenities.
Villa Serena was designed to offer privacy, security, and a sublime spirit. A decorative gate yields to a winding road that passes a tennis court with viewing gazebo and small playhouse.
The magnificent classical elevation of the main house is hidden from view until you break from the trees. There you are greeted by a turnabout drive and double elliptical stone stairways ascending to the main entrance door under a Baroque covered porch. You can feel the warmth of the cream colored hand-wrought natural stone columns and stone window and door surrounds.
The house is sited on the cardinal compass points. The long axis faces east-west. Pella windows and doors can be opened during the cooler months to allow free-flowing breezes to waft through the house from the lake. The sun permeates the elevated entry on the south year round. One arrives on the mid-level, which is most apparent when walking through the highly decorative double height sky-lit Foyer with twin curving stairways, through the formal Ball Room and onto the breathtaking 29 foot high north porch overlooking the green lawn, which drops gracefully towards the blue waters of Pocket Lake.
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Formal Living and Dining Rooms through framed doorways from the Foyer face the South. The cool north side has rooms on three levels. Master Suite and Children’s Bedrooms; Family Room (at Pool level), Guest Suites; Library, BallRoom, Kitchen and Breakfast with Verandah and Balconies face the lake view.
Stone and plaster details abound; the classical theme permeates the structure. Beautiful wood floors contrast with the marble and stone. Breathtaking crown moldings and vaulted ceilings arrest the eye. An up-to-date contemporary Kitchen with Butler Pantry is conveniently accessible from the East Garage by stair and hydraulic elevator. This elevator also connects privately to the Master Suite. The West Garage offers a two-car bay and a half-flight connection up and below.
Other highlights: a Trophy Room on the mid-level, a complete Exercise Room and Billiard/ Dart Rooms on the ground floor with 2 Guest Suites each with bath; and oversize Dressing/ Closets and Steam shower in the Master Suite/ Bath on the third floor. There is also a Maid’s Quarter’s close to the two Secondary Bedroom Suites on the West side opposite the Bridge to the Master Suite. Storage closets, Powder Room, Laundry, etc. generously serve the main areas. The total air-conditioned square footage is over 12,000 while the area under roof total exceeds 14,000 SF.
John Henry Architect with new Owner, discussing details of construction
Villa Serena is one of acclaimed Architect John C. Henry’s unknown treasures (respecting the client’s requests for privacy) imaginatively conceived after Italianate precedent and Old World charm. Greco-Roman detail abounds and Renaissance proportion is evident. Originally inspired by Palm Beach mansions, this jewel of stucco and stone detail and ceramic tile roof (not concrete) satisfied the many activities and interests of the Owner and became an investment prized for its beauty and grandeur.
[ and wood frame, Stucco and stone with Ceramic Tile Roof, Computerized Security/ Lighting/ Communications, 6 Bedrooms with 6 full Baths, Foyer, Living, Dining, Ball Room, Kitchen w/ Pantry, Family Room, Antiques Room, Billiard Room, Dart Room, Exercise Room, 2 Powder Rooms, 4-Car Garage, Hydraulic Elevator, multiple large Storage Rooms, Tennis Court w/ Gazebo, Playhouse, Contemporary Pool.]
See 6,600 SF version, Palm Beach II here. Beautiful Mediterranean Revival Style