Are you finding yourself a bit muddled as to why this particularly modern and sleek home with ultra-linear architecture is referred to as ‘The Circle House’? Well there’s a reasonable explanation. When this project was just an open, empty lot—before Leonardo Lunardi, principal of Lunardi Architecture, joined in to design the house—Eric Collin and Maegan Ochoa, president and director of design from Firmo Construction, respectively, began referencing the project as “The Circle House” because of the circular formation of the street, Tamiami Circle. Once the house was designed, they too were humored by the contrast of the name with its straight-lined aesthetic and interior finish selections. In the end, they decided to keep the name for this cubist home that now adds a dash of modern in the desirable neighborhood of Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores. 

A paradoxical presentation from The Circle House, complete with pool.

CLEAN LINES AND MODERN FINISHES CONTINUE INTO THE INTERIOR LIVING SPACES AND KITCHEN AREA.


Every room is spoiled with generously sized living spaces, birchwood floors and great expansive windows. Lunardi believes the windows are the most important feature of any modern home. The team worked through many revisions to make sure they were able to provide large pieces of glass to bring the outside in. Guests inside the home have ample viewing of the neighborhood from every angle. Incredibly generous amounts of natural lighting are made even more impactful by the cross-ventilation throughout the entire two-story home when the windows are open. Lowering its dependence on air conditioning was only one of the many factors that went into designing this eco-friendly abode, ultimately giving the home its Leadership in Energy + Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. As a compact house, it leaves a compact footprint. The home is situated on a modest-sized lot in a suburban/urban area with good proximity for transportation. What’s more, the energy efficiency of the home’s systems are top-shelf—LED lighting, electric hybrid water heater and HVAC, highly efficient plumbing fixtures, low-no VOC air filtration/exhaust systems, Energy Star appliances all around, sustainable siding and roofing products.Also worth mentioning is the fact that the Circle House was built within inches of existing trees, allowing them to become a part of the new design. “We personally hand-measured all the trees several times,” says Collin, “because when the house went in, we wanted it to look like the lot was never touched. We’re very careful, even if we have to move the house back exactly three feet to keep the flora intact out of respect for the environment.” Lunardi shares the sentiment,

“That’s the easiest thing to do for most projects—to just cut a tree here and there because you just want the house to fit the lot,” says Lundardi. “We’re not afraid to tweak a floor plan to maintain the natural infrastructure. What got me really excited about this project was bringing modern living and the features of LEED in a less expensive and more usable home to the type of buyer that wouldn’t normally have access. Both Firmo Construction and I work on very high-end projects and, in this style of home, it’s very common to have this kind of quality. But to bring that to an affordable level, where you can be in this neighborhood, it’s very exciting. And we actually have three more houses that we are working on right up the street.” 

A paradoxical presentation from The Circle House, complete with pool.

It becomes apparent by the end of the tour, that there’s just nothing quite like this yet here—this humble space with so many features, all in a 2,200-square-foot lot. “It’s easier to do all that on bigger properties with a bigger budget, but it becomes a little harder when the lot is constrained and budget is tight,” says Collin. “So how do you make it all work? We had to be resourceful without sacrificing quality. It’s important to create quality of life here while being able to be so close to downtown. You can literally walk across the way to Bay Haven School or down the street to Ringling campus. It’s only five minutes away from shopping stores and office buildings, yet it’s still so secluded and quiet.” 

A paradoxical presentation from The Circle House, complete with pool.

“We’re both European,” Lunardi says. “I’m from Italy, Eric is Italian and French. So we have the same foreign mind-set, knowing that in Europe when you buy a house, it stays with you for a lifetime. The culture here, it’s not like that. You buy a house and five years later you move on, like how everyone leases cars here. We’re used to having special possessions, and they stick with you and your family. This is the way I envision homes and it’s the way it was built in my brain because of our cultures. You can put your roots into it and it’ll last a long time. The house will grow with you. It has the longevity to stay with the owner for many, many years.” 

A paradoxical presentation from The Circle House, complete with pool.

MONOCHROMATIC BATHROOMS BESPEAK EFFICIENCY AND CLEANLINESS, AND SECLUDED BALCONIES OFFER QUIET ESCAPES.

Empowered by this core concept, they’ve managed to create a property that you can build a family in, that won’t deteriorate or go out of style. By stepping inside these clean, crisp walls, you reap the reward of an upscale ‘Circle House’ within a more attainable price range.