When the owners of this two-story St. Lucia penthouse in Pelican Bay bought the unit as a vacation home in 2020, they were drawn to its location and water views. The former design was dark, dated and ready for an upgrade. The owners enlisted architect Alberto Abad of New Architectura Inc. to craft a new floorplan with walls of windows and The Lykos Group to introduce reflective surfaces and a mostly white palette.
The team’s goal was to maximize the St. Lucia penthouse setting and let unobstructed views reign. “As you approach the floor-to-ceiling glass, you have the illusion there’s no wall there. You have beautiful views of the ocean, beach and mangroves,” Lykos project manager Jim Elliott says.
The reno was a challenge—due to the condo being on the 15th floor and the materials used—but one that paid off. Since the elevator of the 1980s building was not large enough, the team used a crane to transport the drywall, doors and windows. Additionally, the heavy use of glass required extreme precision. “You only get one shot with glass. If it’s wrong, you have to redo it,” Jim says. The owners wanted an open feel throughout, so the team installed a glass railing for the stairs, which features open risers, treads made of European wide-plank, white-oak engineered wood (to match the Legno Bastone floors in the main living areas) and a curved-glass railing. Florida Stairworks & Carpentry supported the railing with an interior steel column for functionality.
The stair structure was engineered to adhere to stringent code requirements following the Miami condo collapse in 2021. Alberto’s team replaced old windows and sliding glass doors with new Windoor impact-rated glass (which helped the condo stay damage-free during Hurricane Ian), designed two small screened lanais with code-compliant glass to add square footage in the living space, expanded several windows to maximize daylight and water views, and eliminated drop ceilings to boost headroom.
Lykos interior designer Brittney Mendez relied on clean lines and a crisp monochromatic aesthetic with hints of teal to mimic the ocean beckoning beyond the glass. “The homeowners wanted a look that was sleek and minimal but also included calculated details and a lot of shine, all while emphasizing the views,” she notes. Small details make an impact: The recessed baseboards, which are flush with the drywall, include a reglet detail. This brings flair to an oft-overlooked area, playing off the sleek glass walls. “The flush baseboards are such a streamlined and modern detail that makes a huge difference, and you don’t often see this in many homes,” she says.
Artful glass and gloss dominate the living spaces. In the kitchen, a chandelier of tubular pendant lights in polished nickel stretches across a massive Caesarstone island. Stainless-steel-framed, lift-up doors with frosted glass inserts (selected with the help of cabinet designer Ivonne McCormick of High Tide Cabinetry) add a nice touch while concealing glassware above the wet bar. Harmoni Kitchens’ high-gloss white acrylic cabinetry and ultra-modern Miele appliances reflect the light from window walls nearby. The Lunada Bay backsplash tile, reminiscent of sea glass, adds more shine.
Bathrooms in the St. Lucia penthouse also got the statement treatment with shiny, high-end plumbing fixtures, LED and electronic touch controls in all the showers. The glass motif runs through here as well in the tile and shower doors. In the primary bathroom, a charcoal quartz waterfall countertop spills over a painted white vanity, while the floors and enormous walk-in shower feature a large-format porcelain tile that resembles the look of marble, with black accents.
The most impressive glass feature in the home lies in the second-story multipurpose space overlooking the great room. The design team installed a tech-enabled glass that can frost for privacy—allowing the room to switch from office space to a guest bedroom with the press of a button. The glass allows natural light to flood in without privacy concerns. Though with the home’s penthouse-level perch, there’s not much risk of onlookers. Even the builders never wanted to leave this reflective oasis. “With all that glass, it was a pleasure to work late to see the sun setting on the ocean,” Jim says.
Architect: New Architectura Inc.
Builder/Interior Design: The Lykos Group
Photography: Michael Alan Kaskel