Tropotype Homes, Wynwood Neighborhood.

Tropotype Homes, Wynwood Neighborhood.

Architecture Wynwood

Low-Income Tropotype Homes Wynwood, Miami



William is committed to the South Florida Environment in its ecological and biological characteristics, diversity, aesthetics and history. Prior to human occupation, the area of South Florida had a remarkable humid sub-tropic Environment that also sustained tropic species of floral and fauna. Once occupied by a great variety of animal species, South Florida possesses some unique land features that remain unstudied.

“Thoughtful design seeks to incorporate natural elements to the site, bringing awareness to what is left of the Natural Environment.”

Above view of the “Tropotype” Homes showing the shading Parasol and Landscaping. 
Copyright © 2015 WHA Architect, Inc. All rights reserved.

An effort for preservation of these features is a genuine commitment. Through careful study and planning, developers who are willing to observe South Florida’s natural history can mitigate their development’s impact.

This proposed Modern Architecture Wynwood attempts to embrace only indigenous landscaping and terrain. Sidewalks, Pavement and Hard-scape elements would be constructed using some rock found at the existing site. Concrete planters are cast using low-grade aggregate found from local rock. Each planter houses a different species from one of South Florida’s micro-ecologies.

This proposed Modern Architecture Wynwood was designed and prepared for marketing purposes.

“William considers the value of using alternative materials, building systems, equipment, program, arrangement, orientation and aesthetics in developing the design for the project, while considering the owner’s scope of work, budget and schedule.”

Each building in this project is a raised, 2-level Multi-Family building with 10-Units. There’s some proposed up-zoning for that area. “We’re hoping the original character and charm of the neighborhood could be preserved by using these simple, low-energy, 10-unit residential buildings.” says the Architect.

“The design concept was to use the shading parasol, a principle I learned from buildings I studied in Cuba.” The geometries of the buildings developed from the “Tropotype” homes; a series of residential designs by MiMo architect Igor B. Polevitzky. Each Tropotype home he made was a progression in disambiguating the building’s envelope and optimizing the use of prevailing winds.

All of the Tropotype homes had major outdoor character, and often used the building’s landscape and orientation to draw the coolest air available to the site. Almost all the Tropotypes were raised from the ground, helping to further reduce entering air temperature― less energy consumption and increased air quality.

Urban heat island affect too, can also be mitigated using this technique.

Using simple geometries, Polevitzky sometimes mirrored two sides of the building envelope to disambiguate it. i.e. a set of stairs that matched the interior and exterior sides of a sliding glass door or the use of dual planters to give the impression of continuity. William uses that tradition in this design for architecture Wynwood. So each building would have Eight studio units and Two 2-Bedroom, 2-Bath Units.

William says the development in Architecture Wynwood is being designed to be trendy, but still be flexible enough to grow with the neighborhood. A sort of “designed by the young professional, for the young professional” and accommodate working-class millennials like him― the fourth generation and latest demographic to be under-served in South Florida.

“The client isn’t a developer by profession, he’s in the U.S. Navy Submarine Program. He informed me about efficiencies in daily rituals he learned from the boat, arrangements that saved time and made living more convenient. We moved the rooms around from a classic apartment layout to something more ritualistic.

The homes would feature better technology― there’s a system that monitors water temperature and use. The same heat pump that heats the water also cools the air… more concepts learned from the client’s living on a boat… In a conventional home, two energy systems work against each other and they create peaks in the city’s power demand.

William looked at ways to simplify construction. For example, there are no wood trusses or fascias― A characteristic of single-family homes he’s designed in the past. “Trusses are found in conventional homes but the companies that supply trusses are difficult to work with and a tremendous about of energy is needed to build, install and permit them. We eliminated them all together.”

“Most of the money went into the windows. Even the least-expensive units should have great access. There’s so much that goes-on, it’d be a shame to not see from the living space.”

The windows make-up almost one third of the building’s cost. Only until recently has Florida’s Energy and efficiency code matched the technology of the industry.

Short-hydroperiod Marl Prairiegrass over Limestone in the Rocky Glades of the Florida Everglades
Photo by Wm H. Arthur IV 2013©

It was absolutely necessary that people have access to grass, even in an area relatively Urban area for Miami. There’s (2) sodded courtyards on the upper floor of each building.

The homes are smart phone-enabled so residents can monitor air conditioning use and lighting on the go. There’s a smart outlet in the kitchen so residents can cook or start the coffee all from their mobile device.

The homes are designed to accommodate demands but still fit within the original character of the neighborhood. For example we’re using one-way driveways spaced at about the same intervals they would be if they were narrow, single-family homes. Multi-unit homes are more efficient, and because they share most of the same resources, they use a lot less energy.

“We’re using old techniques. There’s a lot less waste produced in a simple configuration. There’s less form-work, less skilled labor.”

Constriction-wise the homes are made as simply as possible. By making columns stronger and footings wider, we can reduce the number of them, slightly reducing costs.

This design for Modern Architecture Wynwood melds climatic conditions with the owner’s desire for a iconic design.

Special consideration is made for proving shaded areas for congregation and landscaping with special attention given to environmental awareness. Other strategies, such as using well-behaved plantings and those which require little or no supplemental watering help to reduce CAM costs. Careful implementation of building materials that react well to South Florida’s solar climate is made ensure project longevity and low life-cycle costs.


Size: 9,680 sq ft (including cantilevered balconies).

Builder: Seacoast Enterprises Group, Inc. (305) 233-9445

Cost: $100.00 per sq ft (Estimated).


Modern Architecture Wynwood



Behind Miami’s success and glowing international popularity, South Florida developed a unique enclave for modernist architecture of the international style.
The style was so unique it was later coined (MiMo), an acronym of “Miami Modernism”.




Behind South Florida’s MiMo Design Scene

A quick perspective of Miami’s socialite design scene in 1950.




Polevitzky— Innovation in the houses

Evaluation and history of Polevitzky’s prominent residential career.




Polevitzky— And the Habana Riviera Hotel

History behind Polevitzky’s involvement and perspective of the Habana Riviera Hotel.




The Miami-Havana Connection

Designing two Marine Ferry Terminals, re-connecting two cities.



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We are a third-generation firm for Miami Architecture. We design from a perspective that is environmentally-sensible, culturally and historically-minded.