Welcome to The Fountain House in West Palm Beach, where twenty-two design firms have unleashed their creative super powers for the good of mankind…actually to benefit the 8,500 children who are served by the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County. The parcel of land at what is now 6215 Flagler Drive was originally a swamp, filled in and made suitable for bulding when the Intracoastal, which it faces, was dredged to accomodate large ships. The first house was erected in the 1930’s; it belonged to South Florida’s first gynecologist., Dr. Wellington George.
In 2000, the property was purchased by Don Fountain. Respecting the past owner’s wish that the original structure not be torn down, the Fountains had it removed and relocated and then, with the help of architect John Moore, prepared to build anew. In preparation for the much larger house which grew to over 10,000 sq. ft. under air., the land needed fortification. Three-hundred-eight columns later the solid foundation was ready for a Mediterranean gem. Since its construction, the house has withstood four hurricanes.
Its reinvention took 4 months. Once the designers are assigned rooms, they must pull it together rather quickly, some locally and others from afar, keeping in mind that they are vying for service from contractors and suppliers who experience a mighty uptick in business during “season.” Palm-Beach County-based boutique landscape architecture firm Paradelo Burgess Design Studio worked with Lake Worth-based landscape installers Lopez Group to finesse the grounds, elevating them with topiaries, olive trees, and potted citrus plants.
In a project of this magnitude, sponsorship is key. Among the sponsors for this year’s Kips Bay Palm Beach, were Benjamin Moore and Kohler. The Shade Store was the workroom for all window and wall fabrications of which there were gargantuan amounts. They also donated all of the hardware.that goes with. Additional sponsors include: Cambria, Currey & Company, Dacor, and Ceramic Matrix. All photos in the slide show below, including the lead photo are by Nickolas Sargent.
The Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in Palm Beach runs through Wednesday February 20th. It is open Monday-Saturday 11 - 5 and Sunday 12-5. Children under 6 are not permitted. Neither are pets. Admission is $35 and includes the journal (above). Click here for more info on Kips Bay. If you are interested in making an offer, check it out on Zillow.