Site size: 4,280 square feet

Project size: 2,000 square feet

Program: Built around a presumed 75-year-old live oak tree whose branches span the site’s entire 48-foot width, the three-story, three-bedroom house has views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse to the west. 

Location: Anastasia Island Lighthouse Park, St. Augustine, Florida

Solution: In an effort to preserve and feature the live oak, the home is designed in a U-shape around the tree. The foundation is raised on the northern part of the site to preserve the tree's critical root zone, and the garage is located on the south side. The main living space is on the second floor to take advantage of the spectacular views. The house has a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating of 50 and uses 35% less water than average. More than 50% of the windows and doors are on the north and south facades to take advantage of Florida's passive solar lighting possibilities. The house is certified LEED Platinum, Florida Green Building Platinum, and Florida Water Star Gold.

Construction and materials: The majority of the house utilizes wood platform framing. The front half is on a raised foundation; the rear is supported by a slab on grade. The exterior is clad in stucco and lap siding. 


Additional Information

Completion date: February 2017

Gross square footage: 2,000 square feet

Total project cost: $700,000

Total construction cost: $475,000

Owner: Withheld




Rory Reynolds + Associates
Los Angeles, CA

Architect of record:

James Rory Reynolds

Interior designer:

Mandy Cheng Design


Structural: Hulsberg Engineering

Mechanical: Action Heating and Air Conditioning,Inc.

General contractor:

James Rory Reynolds


Mandy Cheng Design


Landscape: Ricky Peterika

Other: Green Rater: Nate Ritter, GreenBuilt Solutions





Structural System

Wood Frame

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project: Custom Steel Railing: Bear Metal Welding and Fabrication, Inc.

Exterior Cladding

Wood: 1x4 Cedar, Tongue and Groove, Grade: STK

Moisture barrier: Zip System Sheathing with Zip System Tape

Other cladding unique to this project: Stucco Siding and Hardie Lap Siding (4" Exposure)


Other: Cedar Shake Roof, GAF Hydrostop Roof, TPO Roof (prepared for green roof)


Wood frame: Vinyl/Wood Composite: Andersen 400 Series


Glass: Smart Sun, Low E-4 Impact Resistant Glass


Entrances: Custom Mahogany Door with Low-E Glass

Sliding doors: PGT

Fire-control doors, security grilles:

Upswinging doors, other: Swing Doors: Therma Tru
Garage Doors: Clopay


Locksets: Emerson (Entry Door)
Schlage (Swing Doors)

Pulls: CPK 3" back mount finger pulls (Cabinets)

Interior Finishes

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Custom Cabinets: 3/4" Thick Maple
Custom Stair Treads: Southern Yellow Pine, Grade D, 3/4" Thick 1x6 Tongue and Groove
Wood Louvres: 2x2 Douglas Fir, Grade: D

Paints and stains: Interior Wall Paint: Sherwin Williams Cashmere, Color: White, Low VOC
Cabinet Stain: M.L. Capbell, Color: Custom Stained to match wood floors, Low VOC

Wall coverings: Drywall

Floor and wall tile: Living Space: Bamboo Wood Floors, 5" Wide
Bathroom Walls: 4"x4" White Ceramic Tile
Bathrooms Floors: 2"x2" Ceramic Tile


Fixed seating: A built-in shoe removal bench and storage area is located next to the front door, encouraging homeowners and guests to limit the amount of dirt and debris tracked into the home (LEED credit). A built-in window bench is located in the dining room for a premium view of the ocean. Built-in bench seating is located on the 3rd floor balcony to maximize seating, while also providing storage for the outdoor sound system and any other outdoor accessories needing coverage. The bench seating sits just below the top of the Live Oak treetop, giving the guest the feeling of sitting in a treehouse.


Interior ambient lighting: Light shelves are installed below clerestory windows to reflect natural light deeper into the interior spaces and reduce the need for artificial lighting; Stairwell Chandelier by Bocci (LED)

Downlights: Commercial Electric (LED)

Exterior: Commercial Electric (LED recessed downlights)


Energy management or building automation system: Programmable Thermostat: Honeywell
Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:

-Site absorbs 100% of the rainwater
-Energy Star Appliances, fans and lighting
-Water Sense Plumbing Fixtures
-Spray foam insulation in crawlspace and roof, Batt insulation in exterior walls
-Drywall (Lafarge) 99% recycled content
-Low E Glazing
Low to Zero VOC paints and stains
-Drought Tolerant Landscape


Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project: Video Surveillance: Ring Door Bell
Whole House Audio: Sonos system with hardwired speakers