Italian starchitect and designer Achille Salvagni, with offices in London and New York, has designed a retro-cool new residence as a tribute to the midcentury heyday of Miami Beach, as well as the acclaimed Italian designer Gio Ponti. Swooping, sensual white planes reminiscent of gulls’ wings frame the exterior; inside, luxurious materials — Negresco, Verde Alpi, and Malyat limestone; Belgium Black marble; polished French mahogany; brushed and natural oak; bronze — make up a building that seems more like a freestanding sculpture than a home.
Known for creating luxurious homes and yachts, as well as exquisite custom furniture and lighting, the Rome-based architect and designer was commissioned by an international client to design both the interior and exterior of the house. Newly completed and never lived in — the overseas-based owner has decided to sell due to pandemic-related travel complications — the property was initially priced at $21 million. It’s now listed with Oren Alexander and Isaac Lustgarten at Douglas Elliman with a $19 million price tag.
Every piece of furniture and artwork in the house was either designed by Salvagni or specially chosen to enhance the home’s dynamic architecture. Vintage pieces represent a who’s who of bold-faced designer names such as Paolo Buffa, Stilnovo, FontanaArte, Serge Mouille, Angelo Lelli, and Marco Zanuso), and, for an additional $1.2 million, everything can be purchased along with the property.
Inside are seven bedrooms and seven baths in almost 8,000 square feet. All that room to roam includes an entry gallery, a double-height living room with fireplace, and a bronze staircase. Kitchen cabinets are burnished with 24-karat gold leaf — who cares if it’s practical, right? — and everywhere you look there are curvilinear walls, towering windows, and dark wood accents that contrast with marshmallow-white paint and unexpected pops of color, such as the Yves Klein-blue enameled column that supports a lofted lounge that hovers above the living room.
The curved walls in the main living spaces make for intimate, convivial spaces; while the private areas are more austere for a serene atmosphere. On the first floor, besides the reception areas, are a yoga room, a steam room, and access to the garage. Sliding glass doors from the living room lead to the limestone terrace and a 90-foot-long infinity pool, where there is also a cabana and outdoor kitchen.
Squeezed onto a slightly more than one-third-acre site, the property includes a private dock and 111 feet of water frontage on the Surprise Lake, which connects Biscayne Bay to the Intracoastal Waterway. Downtown Miami is just minutes away.