A Unique Award-Winning House Draws Inspiration from the Ocean
This stunning Maui home with incredible views shows off an architect’s creativity.
Whether strolling the beach, walking on the sidewalk or driving along the road, people stop to stare at this sculptural home on the southwestern coast of Maui. On the makai side of the house, the curved roof lines cause visitors and residents alike to stop in their sandy tracks, while on the mauka side, drivers slow down and pedestrians pause to see the view that extends through the length of the house to the ocean on the other side.
Neil and Suzette Felder wanted their new home to be unique and creative, and to preserve the ocean view from off their property. They reached out to Maui-based architect Marc Taron of Arquitectura, who is known for designing high-end homes with indoor-outdoor features that capture incredible views. And this home needed to be on another level of creativity.
“Neil and I both wanted something very different, and it is,” Suzette says. “That was the vision.”
Because the property is not subject to the confines of an association’s design guidelines, Taron was able to extend his creativity beyond the limits of some of his other projects. Taron’s first drawings were innovative, but not quite over-the-top enough for the Felders. “I was like, ‘All right, gloves are off, baby,’ and that’s when I started really coming up with something out of the norm,” Taron recalls.
At the top of the Felders’ wish list for their home was the ability to see the ocean through the house from the street. “That’s really something,” Taron says, noting that many beachfront houses block the view due to their size and privacy barriers.
The Felders wanted to share the ocean view and have it become part of the home’s design. “I look at the house itself as a piece of art, and that’s why it was important for the ocean to be a part of that artwork,” Neil says.
Taron designed the house to be modern, sculptural and open. The garage is at street level, and with its two walls of glass windows, the Felders’ Porsche appears to be on display.
Entering the home is an experience itself. From the garage, the Felders can walk along an elevated walkway into the second floor of the home or descend an open staircase to the lower level; or, they can ride a glass elevator. From the street, an open stairway with LED lights beneath each tread leads to a tiled walkway over a reflecting pool illuminated by a flickering starfield below the water’s surface, as though a reflection of the night sky. Along the retaining walls, waterfalls pour into the reflecting pool, adding to the ambiance.
Inside, the home is completely open. The walkway leads into the great room, an open concept comprised of the kitchen, dining and living areas that extends to the second story of the home, which was built by Buddy L & Sons.
Kitchen and bath designer Cindy Tervola of Tervola Designs used a color palette drawn from the kitchen’s Amazonite quartzite countertop, a stone that Suzette really liked. “I love my color palette,” Suzette says. “It all blends perfectly.”
The modern kitchen has two-tone, flat-panel European cabinetry, mixing light green upper cabinets that were color matched to the countertop with high-gloss white lacquer, including matching panels for the Thermador appliances.
Through Fleetwood doors from Pacific Source that can be pulled completely open, the great room extends outside to the pool deck and lawn before reaching the beach and ocean beyond. The pool deck is partially shaded by a cantilevered lanai from the second floor, which also inspired the design of the home’s makai-facing exterior.
A support system was necessary for the cantilever lanai, and rather than use a column, Taron designed a sculptural, artistic arch that makes a bold statement. The arch extends from the pool up through the lanai to provide support, and then continues past a guest bedroom — which creates shade for the room — and crests above the roofline. Taron mimicked the shape of the arch throughout the home’s roof, with additional curves to represent a set of rolling waves.
“It was ingenious,” Neil says of the structural arch, noting that it allows the rest of the area to remain completely open.
The Felders spend most of their time on this side of the house, closest to the ocean but set back enough to enjoy the view from any part of their home. They never tire of it.
“I’m always amazed at how beautiful it is,” Suzette says. “It’s so unique. It’s just beautiful.”