‘Babcock Style’ celebrates Florida’s architectural past



Homes reminiscent of early Florida and its melting pot of architectural influences — Craftsman, Spanish, farmhouse, Colonial/ West Indies and coastal design unique to the Gulf of Mexico — echo Babcock Ranch’s emphasis on authenticity and its commitment to the environment.

The “Babcock Style,” the residential vernacular created by town architect Looney Ricks Kiss, also makes perfect sense today, just as it did in the past: deep open porches to welcome breezes (and neighbors), overhangs and canopy trees to shade interiors, and dormer and clerestory windows to provide natural light.

“Babcock Ranch is very purposeful in the way homes are designed,” says Mark Jones, a principal of Looney Ricks Kiss. “They embrace the design elements that were instrumental in the Southwest Florida region while creating a modern-living home for entertaining and open floor plans.”

The Babcock Style is based on timeless design principles that stay true to architectural integrity: stucco, siding, brick and stone facades; vertically proportioned and symmetrical windows and doors; and simple but traditional detail consistent with formal, simple classical and relaxed back-country vernacular.

Hearkening back to traditional neighborhoods, porches are almost flush with sidewalks and garages are recessed or located off an alley in the back of the home.

“Our goal was to create a sense of timeless architecture drawing from the natural environment and the regional vernacular of Florida,” Mr. Jones says. “The palette is also derived from nature — vegetation, wildflowers and animal life. We blended together these elements to create the simplicity of living in nature and what that means to the way a house looks, lives and acts.”

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