Framed by palm fronds, which soften the bold architectural design, a white glass-fronted home beckons from across a series of black granite bridges spanning tranquil Zen-like fountains. Open the double doors, and there’s a vista straight through to the pool and to the canal beyond. It’s a sight that homeowners Alberto Galsky and Janette Zafrani could only imagine when they purchased their premium 100-foot wide lot in Golden Beach with panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway. To create such a unique vision, the owners turned to residential designer John Lasry, who, with architect of record Robert G. Ishman and builder John Wiggins, fashioned a dynamic three-story structure with arresting sloping angles and sweeping curves within the lush setting.
Lasry’s plan called for the front façade to feature a pronounced continuous curve to the north, while the dramatic south side of the house derives from buttress-like ribs. “It’s a warped-wall façade using only straight elements—columns tilted at different angles, glass and mullions over a 20-foot-high face,” he says. The all-white envelope of the house is pristine yet inviting, as windows maintain an open connection to the outdoors with plenty of light streaming in—an aesthetic that Alberto embraces. “I like the light,” he says. “With white, you play with shapes and textures. It’s clean—very peaceful.”
Yet after the home was built, the Peruvian owner and entrepreneur had second thoughts about living in such a voluminous seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom dwelling. Alberto only warmed to the idea when he consulted interior designer Debbie Flicki, who advised switching up his furniture and art from a traditional to a more modern aesthetic to better suit the style of the house. At the same time, Alberto retained a few of his treasured antiques—made even more impactful in the new context of clean-lined furnishings, glass and stainless steel. The key to making it all work, says Jannette, a realtor from Venezuela, was creating “different ambiences” throughout the 10,000-square-foot home. To further execute this vision, the owners turned to builders David Mizrahi and Enrique Feldman, who addressed the functionality of the interiors, including the master suite, and relocated the entrance of the house to better align with the view.
Architect Samuel Eskenazi then stepped in and applied his expertise to the interior flow of the residence, as well as finishes for the kitchen and bathroom, custom woodwork and a new stair. Strategically placed walls, some of which seem to float, divide the spaces while maintaining openness, and a central core, clad in walnut, helps warm the interior. “It’s a vertical solution that anchors the elevator and stairs,” he says. The architect also added panel-like squares and rectangles to give the core more dimension and movement.
Debbie Flicki, along with her design partners Hani Flicki and Sete Bassan, also brought warmth and life to the lofty all-white interiors. “We tried to make it homier with a little bit of color and some rugs,” Debbie Flicki says. The designers also reimagined every space more intimately, in consideration of the homeowners’ desire to entertain groups and visiting family—several adult children and four grandchildren. “If there are three or four of us, we sit at the bar,” Jannette says. “With a small group, we settle in the living room. In the dining room, we can seat up to 24.”
Occasional pops of color, such as the citron-hued family room sectional, shake up mostly white furnishings, while more vigorous hues and patterns come from the home’s contemporary artwork. The couple’s carefully cultivated global collection ranges from the realism of Peruvian artist Martha Vargas to the Op Art of Israeli Yaacov Agam, and, in a nod to Jannette’s native country, important works by Venezuelan artists such as Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Rafael Barrios.
Custom touches further distinguish the home. A divider made of bronze-powder-coated aluminum with oak shelves contains a collection of South American vessels; a massive bar of Himalaya quartzite from Brazil features a glass-topped display of Peruvian silver; and the expansive live-edge dining table was crafted in Mexico of native guanacaste wood. In the master bedroom, the designers created a fretwork laser-cut screen and shelving to visually support and add interest to an oversize bed.
To complement the house, landscape architect Juan Pacheco designed a modern indigenous garden. “The house is very open in front,” Pacheco says. “I wanted to create an oasis between the street and the front door. So, we went with a dark floor of black granite over the water feature. The house appears to be floating on water.” Pacheco also introduced a selection of mature Bismarck and foxtail palms. “The building’s scale demanded it,” he explains. “It would look silly with little tiny plants around it. From the inside, it’s like you’re surrounded by a tropical paradise.”
And the homeowners couldn’t agree more. The 1,600-square-foot master suite on the top level of the house is the couple’s favorite spot, with spacious wraparound terraces providing the optimal perch. “There are no buildings or trees to obstruct the views,” Alberto says. “So you just see the canal.” Adds Jannette: “It’s amazing.”