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1950s Modern Atrium House in Coral Gables for $585,000

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This classic subtropical modern house was built in the early postwar period, just after modernism had conquered the architectural world but just before air-conditioning became a standard amenity in Floridian houses. The early 50s were a sweet, sticky moment when merging indoor and outdoor spaces was a necessary means of survival in the Miami weather, and modernist architects were experimenting with all sorts of ways to do it. Here, various rooms open to a central screened-in atrium, with wide louvered doors that let a cross-ventilating breeze in from the outside while hot air rises out through the central screened skylight, sucking more cool air in. It almost makes you sad to see that central air has been added, with AC vents hidden in the rafters, and the screened ceiling was glassed over. The front facade also seems to have been stuccoed-up. The original would have been wood, and a heck of a lot cooler.

· 1518 Palancia Ave [EWM]