Place Architecture

Place Architecture

Saint Petersburg, FL



If, as Le Corbusier famously posited, the modern house is a Machine for Living, then the modern Florida condominium is a Machine for Viewing. Bliss is a 29-unit, 18-story condominium building located along downtown St. Petersburg’s recently revitalized waterfront. The brief from the client was concise – design an elegant, modern building that maximizes the development, maximizes the views and maximizes privacy between units. Layered onto this were the limitations of the small site, the demands of the city zoning code and the ambitions of the architect.

The site is 100’ by 200’ with a street to the north and alleys to the east and south. Between the site and the waterfront park fronting onto Tampa Bay are a single row of smaller buildings providing a protected view corridor. Due to the city’s requirement to shield parking from public view, the four-level garage is relegated to the south half of the property and is vertically accessed via two automobile elevators in lieu of a more typical ramp. This eliminates the often-awkward parking podium and allows the slender tower to rise straight up from the ground.

The modern building utilizes a classical tripartite composition both horizontally and vertically. The vertical circulation core separates the two identical units per floor which enter directly from the elevators. With the shorter buildings in front activating pedestrian life on Beach Drive, the urban role of this building is to contribute to the street wall that defines the west edge of the public park. The lower units, which do not enjoy direct waterfront views are rotated to face the street and respond to the scale of adjacent buildings. At the top of the building, a two-story penthouse unit, a common area roof terrace and the enclosed mechanical equipment create a crenellated skyline.

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Status: Built
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL, US
Firm Role: Architect of Record, Design Architect
Additional Credits: McCarthy and Associates - Structural, Mashayekhi Consultants - MEPF, Touche Design Studio - Interior Design, Seamus Payne Photography