My name is Nico, founder of Mantis Architecture. I am creating sustainable architecture and design for today.
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“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow”
Little Pink House is a platform for Generation Z to live their version of the American Dream.
Set in New Orleans amidst the slow rebirth of the Ninth Ward, this micro-house has characteristics typically found in NOLA housing, like a stoop, colorful wood siding and a front porch. A custom-designed wood façade and soffit is composed of locally reclaimed wood spliced together to create larger beam-like elements. The soffit uses modern weather membranes and is supported by a low-profile steel structure.
The bells and whistles of today’s modern homes come at a price—a sizable mortgage. But Little Pink House is the equivalent of low-cost airfare, with a low starting price and a la carte improvements.
Because our customer wants a sustainable mortgage (or none at all), Little Pink House offers immediate accessibility followed by incremental, affordable expansion. Basic architectural plans for additional bedrooms and living spaces are provided, but they are merely examples of what’s possible.
LPH is about simplicity, community and personalization. Over time, owners can create the space they want in a pay-as-you-go, community-driven model.
It’s a new approach to social housing, which is typically impersonal and impossible to modify. It also gives affordable housing residents the middle-class experience of crafting a dream home over time.
“The Soul selects her own Society — Then — shuts the Door — To her divine Majority — Present no more.”
— Emily Dickinson
We set out to create a new mode of living for people who are visibly underwhelmed by globalist modern architecture—something that speaks more to their style, experiences and expectations.
TropiGoth is inspired by the hipsters, beatniks and outsiders who roam the vampy Gulf Coast swamplands of our great nation. An intriguing, tropical blend of postmodernist goth, naïve folk and digital formalism, it answers the call for quality affordable housing with a personalized aesthetic.
There’s a hipster neighborhood in every state, and TropiGoth wants to be a starter home for the Gen Z and Millennial tastemakers that turn these places into cultural magnets.
TropiGoth’s in-your-face, punked-out design is worthy of Instagram right out of the box, featuring a distressed, pre-fab wooden façade with queen-level attitude, and a private courtyard and smoking lounge flanking the 714-square-foot studio residence.
It even comes with architectural plans for a future two-room extension, whether that means more bedrooms, a yoga studio, creative space or something altogether new.
Mimoy is a proposed six-unit modern townhome development. It features a sexy, dramatic aesthetic with more allure than typical modern architecture—perfect for Miami’s new urban landscape.
We began by considering the role of the car in city life and pushed all garages to the rear alley. This creates room for tropical landscaping in the front, promotes a sense of community, encourages walking and biking, and shows off the dramatic, undulating façade.
Mimoy’s design draws on influences as diverse as Art Deco scalloping, cutting-edge street fashion and custom luxury car details.
The bold design creates a sense of awe that will instantly bond neighbors—critical in a city known for transience. Each pair of units shares one of three 24-foot-tall entryways. These dramatic foyers create a sense of wonder and connection. A playful moment between the outside world and the home within.
To further carve out a sense of place and seclusion, we placed private courtyards in the rear so that windows and doors face lush foliage rather than an alley. One wall is lined with vertical tropical plants to soften the space and improve air quality. Half of the roof acts as a second-level deck, while the other half contains solar panels to lower carbon emissions and reduce energy costs.
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Florida is a state of contrast—a land of tension—and it embodies Hemingway’s idea that, “We’re stronger in the places that we've been broken.” As a response to the many challenges Florida has faced in the past few years, we created Conchy as a positive symbol for our state.
The design is a fresh, simple take on a historic regional home design—the shotgun typology found all throughout the Florida Keys and Caribbean, straight up to Ybor City and even New Orleans. It’s a classic warm-weather abode reimagined for modern life.
Conchy’s façade elements are formed out of high-strength glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC). This material can withstand hurricane-force winds and doesn’t need toxic paints. One mold can be used to create many façades, saving time, money and resources.
From an AirBnb rental to a guest cottage, to a love nest for first-time homeowners excited for the future, Conchy represents the hope and resilience of our Sunshine State.
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Vava is a medium-density affordable housing proposal for South Florida. The building features iconic architecture designed from cutting-edge materials and is home to eight three-bedroom residences.
Vava faces a bike-friendly public park and has a communal bicycle garage, for a healthy, walkable South Beach lifestyle,
Vava continues our firm’s belief in the power of statement façades. This one is composed of angled louvers made of glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC), which absorb direct sunlight and keep the building cool-even in tropical temperatures-while allowing visibility and reflected light to illuminate the interior.
Inside, one finds living rooms with smaller windows that open onto the courtyard, allowing natural ocean breezes to cross-ventilate the space, further cooling the building and reducing its reliance on mechanical air conditioning.
A distinctive triangular pattern evocative of Afro-Caribe and Aztec art appears throughout the design. Despite its visual drama, Vava remains in scale with the four to five-story character of South Beach. It’s our statement on the possibilities of affordable luxury, the power of powerless climate control, and the need for urban homes to be connected to the natural environment.
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A proposal for an expansion chapter of Alpha Phi Sorority.
The design of the house is focused on a multi use courtyard. Taking the Alpha Phi motto of “Union Hand in Hand” we created a series of linked/unioned platforms/stairs are created. This union of platforms and steps creates dynamic places for speaking, ceremonies, multilevel informal seating, etc.
The courtyard is covered in a lightweight tension cable net with varying levels of translucent canvas triangles. As the sun moves throughout the day shadows animate the platforms, walls, and courtyard.
Dreamcatcher offers a modern alternative to a rustic cabin with its sleek, Instagram-friendly design aimed at young Airbnb entrepreneurs.
Its layout is ideal for a couple, with an oversized bedroom, sauna, and separate closets for renter and owner. A mirrored wall behind the bed creates the illusion of more space.
Interior walls are clad in local American solid wood paneling, custom designed and fabricated, and feature an integrated DMX programmable LED lighting system.
The south-facing facade is composed of a tessellated curtainwall system that mimics the shape of a Native American dreamcatcher, camouflaging the exterior door frame and animating the interior space with a mosaic of shadows.
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Sacred Love is a manifestation of what happens when residential architecture has a spiritual awakening. “The layout draws inspiration from places of worship, creating a spatial layout and minimalist interior that is an ode to love and nature.”
The design uses architectural elements familiar to mosques, churches and temples, including the parabolic arch and ancient rammed earth walls. The combination and connection of these two different elements converts the home’s interior into a new experience.
What’s more, it is environmentally sustainable, with the rammed earth walls using only one-fifth of the usual amount of cement found in standard concrete walls.”
“Sacred Love is perfect as a winter rental property for couples or someone in search of a creative space.”
A future extension of the project includes the addition of a studio/workshop.
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La Porte is an affordable 762-square-foot studio residence designed as a starter home for an academic or a student. This plan’s footprint is a direct result of zoning requirements in the Fort Myers area, adjacent to Florida Gulf Coast University.
A 9-foot-tall laurel hedge along the perimeter acts as a natural wall creating private outdoor space and camouflages the 9-foot-tall modern house.
One design challenge with today’s homes is integrating the proportions of the garage door into classical or modern façades. La Porte’s answer is to remove the façade from the equation entirely with the only visible feature being the garage entry way.
Conchy the Gables is a luxury version of our Conchy design.
It is still a fresh take on the classic ‘shotgun’ house with all of the features found in Conchy, again available in 1-3 bedroom layouts with a clean and contemporary feel. However, the exterior is clad with tropical hardwood and Florida limestone, which enables it to blend into the natural flora and tropical landscape of Coral Gables.
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Leia is a luxurious and modern twist on the traditional cabin. Anyone can commission one, but the Leia is a fantastic option for someone looking to become an AirBnb entrepreneur.
Leia is comprised of one grand room, one bedroom, a separate entry vestibule, a turko/shower, and library. It also has separate closets for renters and the owner.
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Cajita is an interior design/layout in a new apartment complex Medellin, Colombia. Squeezing 3 bedrooms and 2 baths into 568 sq.ft. left little room for altering the plan.
The main focus of this project is about creating a sense of privacy. The master bedroom doorway was repositioned to create a visual and sound barrier to the bed space. Both the master bed area and the tv room are wrapped in a cushioned fabric which reduces bouncing ambient noise.