If you have traveled to 30A, you have seen the beautiful community of Alys Beach.
Marieanne Khoury, along with her husband Erik Vogt, are the founding principals of Khoury & Vogt Architects. Their firm practices architecture, urban development, and town planning in Alys Beach, Florida, and they have made quite a mark on this beautiful vacation area.
Here, Marieanne shares building tips and what makes Alys Beach such a special place.
Tell us about your work in Alys Beach and what makes it so special architecturally?
Ultimately, what makes Alys unique is its sculptural and crisp architecture set within a strong and cohesive urban plan. Careful attention was paid to every aspect of this built environment.
This, coupled with the green landscape of our parks and streetscape against the background of blue skies and water, delivers a realm that one wants to linger in.
Erik and I are in our 17th year as the town architects here. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the town grow and prosper knowing we have had a strong hand in helping to define it.
The climate here allows you to live outside in a comfortable environment 10 months of the year so we love designing homes with outdoor courtyards and rooms.
This is an opportunity to seamlessly tie indoor and outdoor spaces together in a way that is alluring, romantic and unexpected.
Tell us how the design process works for you.
There is a deep appreciation for clients who are engaged and energized by the design process. We love nothing more than taking the sum of their desires for the home and presenting them with a design that is poetic, refined and unexpected.
Our first presentations are typically hand-drawn sketches that are subsequently rendered. Along the way, we ask for photos and images that inspire them, and we will do the same so that expectations can be aligned and well managed from the onset.
When working with clients, are there questions or concerns that are consistently raised?
As a custom boutique architecture and interior design firm, our designs are original and ideally tailored to our clients.
Sometimes, a client may reveal something important about the way they live that will inform the overall design or trigger a strong idea that we had not initially considered.
What are your clients asking for at the moment?
It seems that many of our clients are seeking houses that can accommodate extended family for a longer period of time as well as gracious outdoor rooms.
That is music to our ears, as these spaces are an integral part of our work—where gardens and landscape can merge with fountains and pools to create spaces for social gathering or for respite and solitude.
As people start envisioning themselves spending more and more time in their homes, they are seeking places that can afford them privacy when needed, areas for quiet escape and meditation for much needed moments of zen, and offices where they can work remotely without cluttering the common areas.
What do you think contributes most to a successful collaboration with interior designers?
We love working with talented interior designers and think this collaboration is critical. We always appreciate a new set of eyes on the project and ideally want all elements of a home seamlessly tied together.
Since we typically do the interior architecture for our projects, we will often collaborate on the interior design selections and then let the interior designer further enhance the design with their curated furnishings.
We have found that the best projects are when we are all working together, sharing ideas, being receptive to new ones and always doing our best to move the project forward.
We find ourselves often having our own exchanges with the designer, sometimes without the owner present, so that we can flush it all out and present a cohesive and harmonious concept together.
Tell us about your own home.
Erik and I have lived in our house in Alys since 2006 with our two daughters. We live outdoors and have an outdoor loggia that is essentially our main living room. We end our days chatting in this loggia every single day.
What is one thing you absolutely can’t live without?
That is easy! Travel. It is what gives me the most pleasure. I love the anticipation and thrill of planning a trip and discovering new cultures, cities and spaces.
I love a little of the unexpected and unplanned but also want to have no regrets, so our trips, at this point in our lives, tend to be deliberate, thoughtfully pre-planned, and organized while still leaving room for leisure and impulse.
I will not think twice about knocking on a door and asking to see what lies beyond; I will try different foods as much on a street as in a fine restaurant; I try to seek out experiences that will be memorable and meaningful; and obviously, as architects, we seek out the historical places as much as we do the newly designed ones.
I hope you enjoyed these building tips from Marianne and learning more about their firm. She and Erik are a talented duo and have had a beautiful impact on the development of Alys Beach.
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