Cypress Adds Warmth to Beach House

Rising from the sandy shores of Anna Maria Island, Florida, the Seagrape House is a weekend retreat designed by Jody Beck and Ross-Alan Tisdale, owners of Tampa-based Traction Architecture. The modern beach house is highlighted by extensive use of cypress, one of the Sunshine State’s native materials.

“Cypress is an in integral element of our home, adding warmth and texture,” Jody says. “We like its history as a chief building material in the region’s earliest structures, and it contains a natural oil, called cypressene, which deters insects and resists mold and mildew. It’s an ideal wood for Florida’s hot and humid climate, and a beautiful counterpoint to the home’s modern and concrete form.”

The exterior of the home has a unique geometric shape and features two porches that are clad in locally milled cypress. The use of the golden-colored wood continues inside, where cypress ceilings and cabinetry can be found throughout the home. On the second level, cypress flooring is added to the mix, along with built-in cabinets and window seats in each bedroom.

By using local materials such as cypress, the home earned LEED Platinum certification, which is the highest level of recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council. “It is the first LEED-certified residence on Anna Maria Island,” Jody added, “but the project really is a testament to how building sustainably with natural, homegrown materials is achievable.”

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