Before & After: A Modest Midcentury in Miami Expands Around a Lush Courtyard

Brillhart Architecture protects the home’s old-growth trees and adds two sleek wings for an oasis setting.

In Miami’s desirable Coconut Grove neighborhood, a small residence designed by architect Trip Russell in 1948 would have been slated for demolition if not for its seat on a double lot, which allowed Brillhart Architecture to intervene with an elegant, 3,000-square-foot addition. At 1,260-square-feet, the original one-bedroom had a low-lying roofline, concrete block construction, and exposed wood rafters—all hallmarks of its era. Protecting its midcentury spirit, preserving the existing trees, and adding two contemporary wings, Brillhart Architecture has created a refined home that embraces its tropical setting.

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Melissa Dalton
Dwell Contributor
Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing for Dwell since 2017. Read more of her work about design and architecture at


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