Full Renovation of a Luxury Waterfront Art Deco House by Builcore Inc.

Renovating a luxury property with intricate details and special requirements can be a daunting task. Builcore Inc. proudly accepted the challenge of restoring a magnificent art deco house to its former glory. This historic Art Deco 7,000 SF gem located in the prestigious Venetian Islands of Miami was meticulously renovated in a record six months period to meet the Owners move-in deadline. This article explores the unique obstacles faced during this renovation project and how our team’s experience, knowledge, and dedication helped us overcome them.


When undertaking the renovation of this historic house, our team was committed to fulfilling the owner’s requirements while maintaining the overall look and charm of the property. One of the main concerns expressed by the Owner was the limited natural light inside the house due to existing small windows. To address this issue and maximize the breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay, Builcore undertook major structural work to increase the size of windows and exterior doors including relocating and downsizing structural columns and cutting and rebuilding reinforced concrete beams.  This major structural work required substantial temporary shoring of the second floor structure and new foundations and piles.

Another requirement was to maximize ceiling heights especially in social areas.  To meet this requirement, the designer decided to leave most of the concrete beams in the living room exposed and incorporate indirect lighting between them.  The exposed beams would be restored and a stucco finish would be applied on all exposed concrete surfaces.  Builcore successfully implemented this detailed task and the end result was stunning.

The same ceiling detail would be applied in the master bathroom where few beams were left exposed and the remaining ceiling was covered with mosaic tiles.  This contrast along with the Laminam slabs on walls and tub platform and the teak wood millwork and doors made the master bathroom truly luxurious and elegant with a touch of warmth.  The enlarged windows brought in ample natural light and enhanced the breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay.


A house should cater to the needs of all its occupants, including the little ones.  To make the little girls bathroom playful and at the same time maintain the luxury feel of the house, the designer specified pink glass panels and colorful handmade clay tiles that would wrap the entire perimeter walls in addition to the floors and ceiling.  Few accent walls would have Laminam slabs and a gigantic skylight would be installed in the ceiling to bring in natural light.


Another major feature of the new design was to replace the outdated and bulky staircase between the first floor and second floor with a modern handmade monumental staircase with curved glass railings.  Since the existing staircase was built around bulky structural columns, removing this staircase necessitated redesigning the columns to reduce their size which presented another major structural challenge.  In addition, since no vendor in Florida could build these kinds of stairs, a specialty vendor from New York had to be brought on board.  The new staircase looked like a sculpture and was a major addition to the grandeur and charm of this beautiful house.

In addition to the new staircase, the designer specified artisan wood partitions with floor to ceiling glass panels with switchable privacy films to separate the living room from the dining room and the library.  These artisan wood partitions also had to be made in a specialty shop in New York and added a perfect touch of elegance.  

All these major changes and updates to this property were to be made without destroying the original terrazzo flooring, a feature that the Owner insisted on keeping.  Therefore, in addition to protecting the existing floors and restoring them, new terrazzo flooring had to be installed in certain areas and this flooring had to match the existing ones.  This challenging task was perfectly implemented and the difference between the old and new flooring could not be noticeable.


Probably the biggest challenge on this project was the time constraint. The Owners required this substantial renovation project to be completed in a period of six months from May to December which is the hurricane and rainy season in South Florida. Builcore accepted this challenge and was confident that it can meet this strict deadline. By developing and implementing an aggressive schedule based on working multiple shifts and in certain cases around the clock, this deadline was met and the Owners moved into the house before Christmas despite the numerous unforeseen conditions and unexpected challenges faced along the way. Builcore’s knowledgeable and experienced team and skilled workers along with its reliable subcontractors and hands on management made this achievement possible.


In 2023, this notable house renovation project received recognition from the Associated Builders and Contractors through an Excellence in Construction Eagle Award.  Builcore is humbled and honored to receive this award from a reputable institution and dedicates it to every member of the Builcore family who was involved in this beautiful project since without them this would not have been possible.

Dany and Juliana Sebaaly holding an Award for Rivo Alto art deco mansion renovation project in Miami Beach, Florida

If you are considering renovating your own luxury property, trust Builcore Inc. to bring your vision to life! Our team is prepared to undertake the most demanding projects and deliver exceptional results. Contact us today, and let us transform your dream into reality.