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    Jewelry Designer Puts Her Miami Dream House—Complete With Indoor Trees and Waterfalls—up for Sale for $14.5 Million

    Jewelry Designer Puts Her Miami Dream House—Complete With Indoor Trees and Waterfalls—up for Sale for $14.5 Million - 02/14/2024

    Dionea Orcini is selling a mid-century home with architectural plans to raze and replace it with an avant-garde mansion full of East Asian influences

    Jewelry designer Dionea Orcini, whose clients include Rihanna, Shakira and Lorde, spent months last year designing her waterfront fantasy house with Miami architect Cody Thamann.

    Then, before they could start building it, she and husband, Tony Cusenza, moved to Thailand. Orcini is now listing the site of her unrealized dream home―a 0.34-acre lot on Biscayne Island that includes the existing house―and tossing in architectural plans that cost her nearly a year and thousands of dollars. The property hit the market last week for $14.5 million.

    The existing circa-1948 house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, where Orcini and Cusenza have lived since 2009. The buyer will also acquire Thamann’s minutely detailed specs and renderings for the unbuilt, contemporary house spanning 8,418 square feet of interior space. 

    “Dionea and Tony have dedicated a significant amount of time to traveling in Thailand and Southeast Asia,” said Senada Adžem of Douglas Elliman in Miami, the listing agent. “Dionea finds great inspiration for her work in this region and has established manufacturing capabilities there.”  

    Orcini was traveling in Thailand and unavailable for comment.

    “The existing home is beautiful, but what Dionea designed is extraordinary,” Adžem said. “I’ve worked in pre-development for 20 years, and I have not come across architecture that so incorporates an avant-garde, contemporary look that also maximizes on its location with biophilic elements.” For instance, plans call for a live Japanese Niwaki tree in the home’s entry hall.

    The offering is priced “at the land value,” Adžem said, noting a buyer could probably flip the new build “for somewhere in the $40 million range. This is an extraordinary location with sweeping bay views from Biscayne Island, one of the most sought-after of the Venetian Isles. You’re close to all of the area’s social and cultural hot spots.” The Venetian Isles are a string of islets off the coast of Miami and Miami Beach.

    Orcini and Thamann, who heads Miami-based Thamann Architecture + Design, started working on the house last June. She intended the house as a departure from typical South Florida design, Thamann said. 

    A cross-cultural mix of spiritual and ceremonial design elements “mixed into much of the architecture, with a Zen garden next to a Japanese tea room, screens inspired by the Middle East and Asian-influenced concepts throughout the home,” Thamann said. “Tropical Modern’s been done so much in Miami. We wanted something stronger, the Zen mixed with the powerful. We went for warm tones, blackened steel and black reflective metal throughout the project.”

    Orcini’s plans included a jewelry-design studio and showroom “that was a jewel that popped out from the architecture, a double-height space where she could exhibit her work,” Thamann said. “She wanted it to stand out. It’s at a different angle, with its own elevation height, and its own window system.”

    A buyer is not required to execute the architect’s plans, and could amend them. “There is some room to maneuver,” Thamann said. “We’re maxed out on square footage, but there is tons of room in the center courtyard, and areas like the library or studio could be consolidated. But the expansive feel makes the house unique and one-of-a-kind for South Florida.”

    Contractors have estimated the house would take approximately a year and a half to build, Senada said. “It’s a structurally sophisticated home.”

    In the fourth quarter of last year, the average sales price for a single-family home on the Miami Beach islands was $20.59 million, a stunning 126% jump over the same period a year earlier, according to the latest market reports from Douglas Elliman. By comparison, that figure in the greater Miami Beach area was $5.86 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, a 9% increase year-over-year.


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