president's penthouse

This 2,500 square-foot penthouse in Coral Gables, Florida represents a life well lived. The resident, Dr. Donna Shalala served in the Peace Corps in Iraq, was Chancellor and President of three major universities and served as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under President William Clinton. The apartment was a gut renovation. Architect, William Taylor authored the apartment’s unique scheme, where most of the existing walls were removed to open the kitchen, living room and dining room to each other. A delicate basket-weave partition crafted of maple wood serves to cleverly define the space, yet let sight-lines and sunlight through. Interior Designer, Phyllis Taylor designed the basket-weave motif to honor the owner and all that she’s done for women around the world. “We wanted to consider where women’s hand has been evidenced from the beginning of time” says Phyllis, “and it was in the woven basket, a vessel for carrying goods to sustain us all.” Besides books and photographs of friends, relatives, potentates and politicians, other mementos of Dr. Shalala’s were incorporated into the design. A Bokhara rug acquired during her service in the Peace Corp served as the perfect pillow covers for the breakfast banquette.


Interior Architecture by William Taylor  

Interiors by Phyllis Taylor

Photos by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn