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Brown House – Florida Keys


Brown House – Florida Keys, 2000 – 2002

Featured in design magazines around the world and photographed by famed home design photographer Dan Foyer, the Brown House is a unique and extraordinary tropical home prominently positioned in the Florida Keys. A creative collaboration of Hyperion International, David Harum Architecture and the Browns, the Brown House Project endeavoured to challenge traditional design and construction processes to bring to life a one-off, exclusive property concept.

The second tropical home project undertaken by Hyperion International with the Browns, the Brown House is comprised of 158 concrete columns that support the multiple pods that make up the extraordinary house. The Browns wanted to do something dynamic to not only cover them, but to make an artistic impression. Numerous brainstorming sessions conceived an idea, the first of its kind, and shortly thereafter Hyperion International began sourcing and importing over 120 tons of green pebble stone from Timor, Indonesia.

Unique Project Construction Challenges

A challenge with the unique pebble design was installing the stones on the round pillars without the use of grout, something that had never been done before. Hyperion International and a team of 4, highly trained pebble stone workers, developed and refined the installation process in Indonesia prior to starting work on the Brown House. The stone work and the house immediately attracted the attention of designers and design magazines from far and wide, and helped spark a trend of using pebble stones for multiple purposes.

Walkways, planters, stair risers and pool coping were also lined in pebble stone. A flat green stone, known in Indonesia as ‘batu hijau’, was used to line the walls and bottom of the swimming pool. The hand carved railing which envelops the entire second floor and all the staircases was fabricated by Hyperion out of camphor wood in Indonesia and imported to the Keys to be installed on the house. Doors were custom made from teak wood and carved by Hyperion, as well a custom coconut shell inlay bar. Hyperion also fabricated and imported many of the furniture and landscape pieces from Bali for the home, including a beautiful, hand-carved teak bed. A prominent feature of the interior is a hand carved fireplace mantel made out of one, large piece of Java marble, carved in Bali and sent to Florida for this home.

“The Brown house was definitely a challenging project.” says Mike Bell, owner of Hyperion International. “Besides importing the pebble stone from Timor at the height of the East Timor independence war, we had to find highly skilled pebble stone installers and get them the proper work visas for the project – that took time. But I love a good challenge!”