Called “as classic and au courant as a Picasso masterpiece”, Parker’s Coconut Grove, Florida home “Woodsong” fits the canvas of the site with daring and dazzle.
The lot was a dense palm forest with innumerable variety of trees. To retain as much of the natural landscape as possible the architect took advantage of three slightly open areas and created a three-pod design for the home. He connected the living, eating & sleeping pods with a covered walkway and lap pool fed from a natural spring.
An expression and continuation of its environment, “Woodsong” blends indoor elegance and outdoor splendor. Most distinctive is the use, outside and in, of Honduras mahogany. The palms on the site were the inspiration. The bleached and weathered finish of the mahogany mimics the trucks of the trees and the custom milled pattern reflects the palm fronds.
One of Parker’s masterworks, the home has been published widely and honored often since it was built in 1970. In 2006 the English design and architecture magazine, Wallpaper, named “Woodsong”, one of the ten most beautiful houses in the world.
In October 1949, years before editor Elizabeth Gordon met architect Alfred Browning Parker, House Beautiful magazine published the “Climate Control” issue. The issue presented in specific technical terms and for all regions of the United States: “… how to combine correctly all the technically fine and advanced products of the building trades to produce the perfect house for the place in which it was to be built.”
Parts 7 & 8 of 10 Things To Love look in depth at two homes in two distinct climates. The celebrated “Woodsong” in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida and “Windsong” a vacation retreat near Lincoln, Vermont. Parker acted as owner, designer & builder (“3-in-1”) and produced two unique and stunning examples of perfect houses.
© Bo Parker Photo, © Hearst Corporation