“For Botaniko Weston, we created architecture that celebrates the tropical environment, homes that are truly crafted in every detail for indoor-outdoor living. Light, water, and sky are as integral to the design as the rich materials used.”

The use of natural light still is a major feature of Oppenheim’s work for Botaniko Weston, the groundbreaking development comprised of 125 multi-bedroom homes. “The project will give people a more enlightened and pleasurable lifestyle,” he says. “It’s about indoor-outdoor living and optimizing the living experience in the South Florida climate.”

Weston may be a new frontier, but Oppenheim calls it a “paradise.” “It’s incredibly lush, very green, and it’s close to the Everglades, which I think are overlooked in terms of beauty,” he says. “It’s a whole river of grass. It’s really an idyllic community.” Oppenheim has no desire to compete with nature in such an environment.

“We don’t like to use color, per se,” he says. “We like to use material that has color—stone, wood and stucco—which we typically associate with lighter shades.”

Oppenheim says he’s learned that people enjoy the comforts of traditional living spaces, but want a contemporary vernacular, so the challenge is to avoid the soullessness that’s often associated with much of modern architecture.