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10 Years Ago, Casa Vela

Since I have only lived in Orlando for 8 years, I thought it would be interesting to look back 10 years and see what buildings were honored in 2004 by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and share them with you.


One of 2004’s award winning designs is Casa Vela, Sebastian Inlet Beach, Florida. It received the AWARD OF HONOR, designed by MATEU Architecture which had an office at the time in Winter Park, Florida.

Casa Vela (“Sail House”) is a sculptural shelter carefully juxtaposed in its unique natural oceanfront context. It draws its strength from the imagery of sailboats, anchorage and durability. The soft, curving stainless steel plane that surrounds the southeast side recalls the imagery of a sail, while effectively buffering against the incessant southeasterly winds and simultaneously visually buffering the occupants from an earlier ordinary structure next door.

Here is a link to the architect’s website:

The independent Jury said: “Jury’s Favorite. Fresh approach to residential design. The project’s essence is in its simplicity. Program is very clear and expressed volumetrically..”

Check here for all the 2004 AIAOrlando award winners, on the AIA Website : We will feature more of them in the coming months.


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