In Italian architecture the term, piano nobile, is given to the noble floor or level. In a Venice palazzi this would have been on the first floor (or second in US terms). This is because the higher floor would have had the best view and been away from the earthy odour of life at canal level.
I thought of this as I viewed 217 Zoe Way, Miami Beach in Florida. It is a very grand but very contemporary waterside home in a modern day Venice of America. On either side of the bustling waterways outstanding houses create a canalscape for today.
Inside this noble house is an interior that a latter day Venetian could only dream of. But here the grand floor is at ground level as there is certainly no need to be higher – but just in case there is a roof deck with summer kitchen at palmtop height.
Designed by award winning architect Suzanne Martinson and featured in the in New York Times this is the first time this noted town house has been on the market since new.
Safely guarded behind a gated perimeter this sun-drenched home with spacious open floor plan and 22 ft ceilings offers five bedrooms, five bathrooms, eat-in kitchen, playroom and business centre.
Both road and water transport are well catered for – there is a two-car garage and a private dock But there will be no gondolas tied up here. The favoured mode of water transport in this part of the world is a smart motor yacht.
There are also some excellent private estate amenities including a 5000 sq ft gym, two pools, concierge and 24 hr valet.
But the best bit is without doubt the lofty and bright grand salon. It’s on the piano nobile floor right where it should be.