Builders unveiled to a Wellington board the first six examples of what the luxury homes might look like in the 27-lot Farrell West development near the entrance to the Palm Beach Polo community, in a style decidedly more modern than old-school Mediterranean.
Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 23, the Architectural Review Board heard village staff note that while some newer homes around Wellington do incorporate a modern style, features such as flat roofs and a relative lack of adornment around entrances merit discussion about how comfortably they fit existing guidelines.
Developers signaled that they were willing to put an awning over the front door in one model, for example, but the board gave a green light to their initial impulses.
“I’ll make a motion to keep it to the original design,” Board Member Maria Raspanti said.
A 6-0 vote for all the proposed models followed.
The proposed homes reflect a change in customer tastes that has been occurring over the last five to seven years, said Rich Granoff, founder and CEO of Granoff Architects, the group designing the homes.
“I don’t think many people are building stucco homes with arches and red-tiled roofs so much anymore in southeast Florida,” Granoff told the board. “Part of the concept of doing an all-modern subdivision here, to be honest, was driven by the market demand.”
Given the size and price point, he expects each home to be customized to the buyer.
“We’ll see how sales go, but I suspect there will be 27 unique homes,” Granoff said.
The first round of homes featured floor plans of 5,000 square feet to 7,000 square feet.
The models included varied roof lines and a mix of sloped metal and flat roofs. The façades show various configurations of stucco, wood and composite materials in contrasting colors.
In the early offerings, brown and beige tones are accented by black and gray trim. There is an abundance of glass, even on some garage doors — though the glass would be frosted in that case, Granoff said.
All materials will meet hurricane standards, officials added.
“What’s the price range on these homes?” Board Member Maria Antuña asked.
“It’s obviously what the market will bear,” said Michael Sanchez, representing the builder. “We’re anticipating $5 million to $7 million.”
The Farrell Companies received Wellington Village Council approval to develop the 23-acre parcel earlier this year. The company completed a purchase of land that had largely been dormant green space for many years after use as a golf course, polo ground and adult soccer field southwest of Forest Hill Blvd. and Polo Club Road.
Granoff said he studied the modern architectural style when he was beginning his career almost four decades ago, but in recent years, it has played a larger role in market demand, particularly for upscale homes. “That’s where the world is going,” he told the board.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation notes modernism’s roots date from the early- to mid-20th century. Architects associated with it include Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson.
According to the trust, “In architecture, it’s defined as a design language with an emphasis on form rather than ornament; structure and materials rather than picturesque constructions; and the rational and efficient use of space.”