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MiraLago Entrance
Parkland, Florida

Landscape Architecture by Witkin Hults Design Group

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MiraLago in Parkland, Fla. (no, not Trump's 'Mar-a-Lago') is a Lennar's master-planned gated community on Lake Majesty. MiraLago is just west of Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach on Florida's southerly east coast, and just east of the Everglades Wildlife Management Area.


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As you drive from the MiraLago community to the exterior Nob Hill Road you pass by a 6-tiered scallop shaped fountain with 40 fountain jets. The decorative paving of the road uses the same color palette and texture as the stone-cladded curvilinear walls.


MiraLago in Parkland, Fla.--not to be confused with Mar-a-Lago, the national historic landmark in Palm Beach built for Marjorie Merriweather Post during the mid-1920s and bought by Donald Trump in 1985--is Miami-based Lennar's master-planned luxury community of 738 homes "where almost every home has a lake view." The gated community features home designs up to 4,700 square feet and amenities that include a resort style clubhouse with a grand pool, a separate pool for the younger set with a play structure with slides, indoor party room, state-of-the-art fitness and aerobics centers, a grand ballroom, spa and tennis and basketball courts.

MiraLago sits on Parkland's largest lake, Lake Majesty. The community was designed to give water access to many homeowners and panoramic lake views to still more. The community is located in northwest Broward County, part of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area of southeast Florida, home to about 5.5 million people. MiraLago is just west of Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach and just east of the Everglades Wildlife Management Area.



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Fronting Lake Majesty is a three-tiered fountain with 17 heavy white-water jets on two levels. The manufactured stone cladding here and elsewhere on site is 'RoughCut Autumn Leaf' from El Dorado, which mimics limestone. The distributor was Brick America; the installer was U.S. Brick and Block.


The entrance to MiraLago is a prime example of how aquascapes, hardscapes and landscape can combine to create a memorable symbiotic experience. It was a logical extension to integrate the natural beauty of the lake with a water themed main entrance. As residents or guests drive into the community they are flanked by a series of stone-cladded curvilinear walls. The decorative paving of the road picks up on the same color pallet and texture as the stone on the walls. Stately Phoenix Dactylifera 'Medjool' date palms are planted behind the curved wall and in the median for an immediate elegant visual impact.

A series of dynamic water features greet all who enter MiraLago. The first water feature to wow is an impressive 66' diameter, three-tiered circular fountain. Nine heavy white-water jets in a large precast concrete bowl highlight the top level. The water spills over the bowl and then into a large pool of water. The water in the large pool spills over a stone clad wall into the lower water basin. The lower basin is raised approximately 2' above the road to afford drivers a better view of the water feature.

As one drives around the fountain there are a series of fountains on both sides of the roadway. The curved-side water features were designed to be viewed more from the lakeside than from the driver's seat. Each of the two fountains has 17 heavy white-water jets on two levels. The water from the top two levels cascades over another stone clad wall into a lower basin.



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The impressive 66' diameter, three-tiered circular fountain has 9 heavy white-water jets in the large precast concrete bowl at the top level. The water cascades from the bowl into the upper basin, then spills down the stone clad walls to a lower basin that is 2' above the roadway to give drivers optimal views of the fountain. Both the roundabout fountain and scalloped fountain (left) are framed by Phoenix Dactylifera 'Medjool' date palms. Other palm species include coconut palms (Green Malayan and Maypan curved trunk), Chinese fan, Silver date, Royal, Foxtail and Single Montgomery palms.


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The main field pavers are 'Sand Dune' colored 'Stonehurst' style pavers in an ashlar pattern (6"x9", 9"x9", 9"x12"), and 4"x8" 'Coffee Grey' blend brick pavers in a herringbone pattern. Soldier courses of 4"x8" pavers and 18" wide banding in standard concrete accent the hardscape.


As one drives toward the guardhouse, the centerpiece of the entrance fountain sequence comes into view. The dynamic scallop-shaped fountain is 140' long with five levels and nearly 40 heavy white-water jets. The road begins to elevate at the beginning of the fountain. To give drivers optimum visibility the fountain has four drops of approximately 15 inches each. Driving toward the guardhouse, the fountain's lowest circular basin has eight white-water jets to accentuate the circular shape. The next four scallop-shaped levels each have six linear water jets to direct views toward the fountain terminus and the guardhouse. The very top level is another circular basin with five heavy white-water jets.

Impressive mature landscaping highlights the water features. The landscape design aimed for a simple plant palette, yet one that was mature at installation. The primary palm species are the 'Medjool' date palms and royal palms. The Royal palms were 30' tall at time of planting. The shade trees were primarily 18' live oaks (Quercus virginiana). Accent trees were primarily 18' 'D.D. Blanchard' magnolias. Flowering trees were strategically placed for maximum visibility during their flowering season. The shrubs and groundcovers were also a simplified palette. Where room allowed, the landscape architects specified three heights of plants for an elegant layered effect. Seasonal plantings are only used at the very front of the entrance. The MiraLago entry was awarded the 2016 Florida's Best special judges award from the Builders Association of South Florida.



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Team
Owner: Lennar Homes, Miami
Architects: Pasqual Perez & Kiliddjian, Miami
Landscape Architects: Witkin Hults Design Group, Hollywood, Fla.
Landscape Contractor: Dixie Landscape, Miami
Fountain Contractor: Worldwide Pools, Miami
Specialty Paving: Tremron

As Seen in the July 2017 Issue of Landscape Architect Magazine






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