a corten steel gatehouse is overgrown by tropical nature in coconut grove, miami

a corten steel gatehouse is overgrown by tropical nature in coconut grove, miami

rene gonzalez designs a new ‘coconut grove’ threshold


Standing as the threshold to the residential estate in Miami, the so-called Coconut Grove gatehouse takes shape with architecture by Rene Gonzalez. Built of Corten steel and overgrown with lush greenery, the unique project presented a dual challenge — to create a monumental structure while harmonizing with the tropical surroundings.


The architects aimed to preserve the natural elements of the site, which faces Florida‘s vast Biscayne Bay. Collaborating closely with landscape architect Raymond Jungles, the architects created a structure that seem to vanish into the natural surroundings while maintaining a strong presence. This careful synergy of architecture with nature would define the essence of the Gatehouse.

coconut grove miamiimages © Michael Stavaridis@stavaridisphoto



corten steel and silver travertine


A defining aspect of the Coconut Grove Gatehouse in Miami is its ability to fade into the landscape while asserting its significance. The architects led by Rene Gonzalez artfully employ materials to achieve this vision. Silver travertine and rusted Corten steel forms the core material palette, enabling a captivating interplay between the structure and its surroundings. The Corten steel, serving as the defining element for each programmatic space, establishes a continuous connection between all components merges the facade with the natural beauty of the environment.


The integration of the Gatehouse with the lush vegetation is a carefully orchestrated balance between the built and the natural. Vertical Corten steel louvers, irregularly interspersed throughout the design, create a rhythmic dialogue with the surrounding foliage, further dissolving the boundary between the man-made and the organic. The silver travertine stone walls enfold and harmonize the various elements of the entry feature, enhancing the sense of unity with nature.

coconut grove miami
the core material palette includes silver travertine and rusted Corten steel



Rene Gonzalez describe the context of the Coconut Grove Gatehouse commission:The original brief requested the creation of a substantial multi-functional entrance feature which would provide a future home for security, reception and all other concierge logistics management for the property’s multiple residents.


Given the site’s exceptional natural beauty, however, the RGA team was requested to have this dominant and physically secure entrance also simultaneously blend seamlessly into the environment. When the original owner sold the property, the new owners so valued and appreciated the original design for the entry pavilion they maintained it as the Gatehouse for their personal private residence.’

coconut grove miamithe gatehouse stands as the threshold to the residential community of Coconut Grove

coconut grove miami
overgrown by its tropical surroundings, the monumental structure harmonizes with nature


a careful synergy of architecture with nature defines the essence of the Gatehouse

coconut grove miami
vertical Corten steel louvres are irregularly interspersed


landscape designer Raymond Jungles worked closely with the architects

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