Bernstein House

Orlando FL

Year Built:1965
Size:2553 s.f.

From the owner...

I first fell in love with Nils's architecture when I attended an Orange County Medical Society Auxiliary meeting at Dr. and Mrs. John Webb's home. We had been looking to purchase a house for awhile but I could not see living in a box-like structure. The light, space, unusual angles, materials and particularly the feeling of being part of nature while still being in a house made me ask, "Who designed this house?"

We met with Nils and immediately felt his warmth and genuiness. The meaning of the word integrity is shared equally with the man and his work.

I remember his asking us how we lived our lives and then using overlapping circles to visually mark on a roll of tracing paper. This ultimately became our floorplan. The first house Nils submitted to us for our approval did not thrill me and I told him it reminded me of a fort. I put my two hands together in a pointed shape and said, "This means home to me". He gave me what I wanted the second time around.

We never cease to be amazed at the new vistas we discover even after living in the house for over forty years. Seeing the moon shining through a skylight or a cloud drifting by a two story tall window continues to be a joy for us. Our house is a bit like our child; we saw it born and are proud of the way it has grown.

-Ruth and Stuart Bernstein

Other items of interest:
  • Tom Hurley was the supervising architect.
  • The first Nils design was rejected because it resembled a fortress, but the second design was accepted
  • All the floors are made from terrazo.
  • Textured cement block was used throughout with scored mortar between each block
  • Awning type and fixed glass windows plus many planter boxes were used in the design
  • Color scheme was cream cider block and dark brown wood trim.
  • Burt Foster was the original landscape architect and Garth Schweizer, son of Nils, is the present landscape architect
  • There is a two story screened room and a balcony facing Lake Conway.