One Avocado, 3501 Avocado Avenue, Coconut Grove

One Avocado, 3501 Avocado Avenue, Coconut Grove

“One Avocado” 3501 Avocado Avenue, Coconut Grove


History of Coconut Grove – A backstory:
Coconut Grove is the oldest continuously-inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States.[1] This was mainly due to the oriented trajectory of horizon, as the land’s geography envelops the Bay acting as an open invitation that stretches across the ocean and into the Caribbean. The topography of Coconut Grove was an intuitive feature for the earliest settlers, navigators and merchants traveling through the pre-settled area.

Finally in 1882, the Peacock Inn was founded as the “first hotel in South Florida”, bringing white and northern-American tourists into Coconut Grove Homes. As the Hotel became popularized, the new hotel owners began to employ the already long-settled blacks in Coconut Grove.

It is important to note, that the original demographic of Coconut Grove consisted of not only African Americans, but also Bahamians of African descent whom most-often traveled by boat, and Georgian Blacks who were either freed or fled by foot. This unique accumulation of inhabitants made the Coconut Grove one of the most significant settlements in North America, until it was incorporated into the city of Miami. Originally written as “Cocoanut Grove” by the early white settlers, the area had a post office application made in 1873. As the early white settlers sought to Homestead, popularize and market the area for Real Estate.

Peacock owners Charles Peacock and his wife Isabella traveled to Key West in search for workers as they saw a steady increase in clientele.[2] As years progressed, the original Bahamian Georgian Blacks settlers became segregated, as land was delineated and platted around them by the new white settlers.  Feeling quite welcomed with the strikingly familiar flora and fauna and opportunity for financial growth, both the original and “new” communities found the are of Coconut Grove attractive. At this time and unlike many parts of the United States, Coconut Grove was considered to have a cordial relationship between black and whites when compared to the rest of the United States. Both races attended church services together and there was no mandated segregation.[3] This balanced shifted weight in 1925 when the city of Miami annexed the city of Coconut Grove in Miami’s initiative to become the largest city in South Florida. From this moment on, the Grove would undergo a series of events that created the dichotomy of rich and poor between East and West Coconut Grove that persists strongly in the Planning department of the City of Miami today.

Coconut Grove’s history is controversial and sets a culturally-significant tone for what was considered a historical site. This posed a major architectural question as for how do we build for such a rooted community with a delicate memory of the relationship of people from different races and of differing classes. On one hand, the planning department of the City of Miami worked strongly to preserve the existing segregation, then adamantly supported by City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell. Through the historic and present analysis of the site and conversations in the field, WHAA analyzed the series of trials the Coconut Grove community has seen, ranging from a number and variety of developers to studies by the University of Miami Architecture.

This led to our own solution to a sensitive situation for building anew around one of the oldest South Florida settlements. We have proposed a number of homes to aid in the transition of the working class to the jobs around the area of Coconut Grove. The location borders the business hubs of Coral Gables to the North and Brickell to the Northeast. The homes are designed to reflect a degree of memory of the positive forces brought from the Bahamas in terms of climate sensitivity and spatial organization.

These currently vacant lots will be revived with homes that reflect the climate type and form-follows-function guidelines to create a home that is environmentally conscious as well as community-driven. As exemplified by the ode to midcentury modernism and its influence of Bahamian architecture, the projects individually react to the nature on site. The projects include a number of apertures and transom windows for light to seep into the homes at particular hours of the day and to minimize heat game. The homes also have internal courtyards to reflect the respect for the nature that makes Coconut Grove such a striking place to live.

In terms of historic reference, the spatial organization of the structures are designed from inside out, relating specific design decisions of the community to make their way back into the neighborhood. This is done by understanding how the systems of ventilation work in the shotgun style house in the area during the early 1900s. The layout in floor plan consists of a straight alignment of rooms from most public to most private. The procession of space starts with the living room which is open to the dining room and kitchen, then transitions into the bedroom and bathroom. This allows for the opportunity of ventilation through the entire house from front to back, a solution to pre-air-conditioned space. The space then spills out into the porch to allow for a community feel and an extension of the home into the neighborhood. This precedent of building is exemplified in the homes designed for the area.

Our goal with the series of projects is to save the culture by utilizing the principles of design while integrating the prominence of the immediacy of homes in the Coconut Grove area. The initiative will open the home to create a safer community from indoor to outdoor and from private to public space. The grand opening of the homes is projected to involve unique art installations by a sister company of the developer who lives in the area in order to bring life into these brand new houses and start a conversation with art and architecture in hopes to ignite a healthy and functioning community.

[1]  City of Miami official map Archived April 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
[2]  Alex Placensia Thesis Clemson
[3] Alex Placensia Thesis Clemson

3501 Avocado Avenue
Coconut Grove, Florida 33133

WHAA, Inc.
2920 Ponce de Leon Blvd,
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
(305) 770-6100
(305) 770-6070

Renderings, graphic materials, plans, specifications, are proposed only and based on conceptual development plans that are subject to architectural and other revisions at the sole discretion of the developer, builder, architect, or as may be required by law, and should not be relied upon as a guarantee or de facto representation.

All dimensions are approximate and may vary from actual construction. Buyers should check with sales center for the most current pricing. This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation to buy condominium units where prohibited by law. ALL REAL ESTATE SHOWN HEREIN IS SUBJECT TO THE US FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING ACT OF 1998.

“Making best use of allowed density to reduce urban sprawl, Grove Seven offers super space flanked by tree canopies on all sides”.

Size: ±12,600 sq. ft. ( not including covered balconies, loggias and carport).

Number of Stories: 2, plus a rooftop terrace.

Number of Units: 1 Single-Family Home

“One Avocado” Copyright © 2018 WHAArchitecture Inc.


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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.

June 19, 2018