For a Sarasota tour of modernist structure, look no additional than the Sarasota MOD Weekend in Florida – first launched in 2014, and gaining momentum after bringing two previously separate native structure organisations underneath one umbrella: Structure Sarasota. The pageant, which this yr ran from 11 to 13 November 2022, is the youthful sibling of the Palm Springs Modernism Week, a longtime celebration of native midcentury trendy structure, attended by a passionate neighborhood who reside and breathe it, and a world flock of modern-o-philes (see the latest Palm Springs Modernism Week 2023 preview).
Like Palm Springs, Sarasota is a honeypot of exemplary midcentury buildings, although the homes are sometimes just a little extra hidden because of the tropical foliage. The town additionally has its personal distinctive native structure motion, the Sarasota Faculty of Structure, lively within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties and characterised by its fusing of modernist concepts with experimental, climate-responsive design; combining a Bauhaus strategy to industrial supplies, Frank Lloyd Wright’s curiosity in website specificity, and the affect of Southern American and tropical vernacular.
Highlights of the ninth Sarasota MOD Weekend included Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell’s experimental Cocoon home and Rudolph’s later Sarasota Excessive Faculty with its chunky shading system. Morris Hylton, freshly introduced upcoming president of Sarasota Structure, was concerned within the saving of Sarasota Excessive Faculty from demolition in 2014; whereas working in a earlier position on the World Monuments Fund, he designated the very first Modernism At Threat grant to its profitable preservation marketing campaign. Structure Sarasota continues this passionate work, and can also be concerned in itemizing, buying and renting properties (reminiscent of Cocoon home) to allow them to stay protected, maintained and open to the general public.
‘Buildings are three-dimensional objects that are supposed to be skilled. Pictures solely inform you a lot,’ says Anne Essner, board chair of Structure Sarasota, sitting on the couch within the dynamic double-height residing area of the Rudolph-designed Umbrella Home. For her, the home visits of MOD Weekend provide an accessible entry level into good structure and design for all to take pleasure in: ‘Everyone loves homes. Folks come to get adorning and restoration concepts, and speaking to the householders is a giant part of the go to. It’s all about consciousness, and serving to individuals to see what they’re experiencing. [With this festival] we need to encourage good design within the constructed surroundings on a recent foundation, in addition to stewarding the legacy of the Sarasota Faculty.’
A SARASOTA TOUR OF MODERNIST ARCHITECTURE
Revere High quality Home, 1948
This minimalist home was designed as considered one of eight industrial prototypes for the Revere High quality Institute, a analysis arm of the Revere Copper Firm. Designed by Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph to the ‘Lamolithic’ technique of constructing, named after native concrete provider John Lambie, which concerned a steel-reinforced cast-in-place concrete construction with 21 metal ‘lally’ columns. (In 2007, a big ‘companion’ property was designed on the identical plot by architect Man Peterson, overshadowing the unique home.) The primary room to enter is an ‘out of doors room’ with agave crops and a seating space overlooking the pool. Inside, you discover a terrazzo ground, plywood room dividers and a copper fire hood. Twitchell would transfer into this home, and reside there till his dying in 1978.
Healy Visitor Home/Cocoon Home, 1949
The design of Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph’s Healy Visitor Home (also referred to as Cocoon Home), constructed for Twitchell’s in-laws, was knowledgeable by Rudolph’s expertise working within the Brooklyn Naval Yard the place he witnessed ships being waterproofed with polymer spray. He trialled the fabric on the softly U-shaped roof of the Cocoon home, which was harnessed to the bottom with 5 metal ‘straps’. Wooden jalousies offered shading, privateness within the residential enclave on Bayou Louise, and cross-ventilation. The home was named a post-war ‘pioneer of design’ in 1953 by the Museum of Fashionable Artwork, although in 1955, the roof had to get replaced.
Umbrella Home, 1953
In relation to Sarasota modernism, all of it started when progressive and well-travelled developer Philip Hiss purchased land in Sarasota to determine a rich winter enclave with a neighborhood imaginative and prescient for contemporary residing. He commissioned up-and-coming architect Paul Rudolph (who had studied underneath Walter Gropius at Harvard and arrange an area partnership with native architect Ralph Twitchell), to construct forward-thinking buildings for his land, leading to, amongst others, the Umbrella Home, a billboard for his new neighbourhood, Lido Shores. This two-level home was constructed as a advertising suite for Hiss’ Lido Shores neighbourhood, proper subsequent to his studio and on the freeway as a billboard to trendy residing, designed by Rudolph. The construction is a metal grid with jalousie home windows, and an enormous 10ft shading cover frames the pool and protects the home windows from the solar. The cover or ‘umbrella’ was initially made from old-growth cypress wooden and tomato stakes, then changed in 2015 with aluminium and metal wire X-bracing to fulfill hurricane-proof constructing codes that shield buildings from 160mph winds. The ripe floor for constructing right here drew Sarasota Faculty different members Gene Leedy, Victor Lundy, Edward ‘Tim’ Seibert and ‘youngest member of the Sarasota Faculty’ Carl Abbott, an ally of Structure Sarasota who participated at MOD Weekend, amongst others.
Hiss Studio, 1953
This construction was initially constructed because the gross sales workplace for Philip Hiss’ improvement firm on Lido Shores. The elevated glass field rests on 14 metal columns and was designed to catch the breeze, with shaded area to park beneath the construction. The unique oak shelving and cork flooring are preserved. Architect Edward ‘Tim’ Seibert was often known as the ‘proper hand man’ of Philip Hiss.
Cohen Home, 1953-55
Designed by Paul Rudolph, this home expanded on the architect’s Walker Visitor Home prototype, with the addition of a indifferent carport and suspended coated walkway. The home overlooks Bayou Louise and has an open-plan inside. It was designed for David Morris Cohen and his spouse Eleene Cohen. David was a former Metropolis of Sarasota Mayor and co-founded the Florida West Coast Symphony, of which he was a conductor and violinist, whereas Eleene was a cellist.
Sarasota Excessive Faculty, 1958-60
The Sarasota Excessive Faculty enlargement was Paul Rudolph’s most high-profile fee in Florida, and follows passive design and sustainable structure rules. It incorporates a façade of white folded-concrete shading creating an exterior hall. There’s an open-air foyer and earlier than restoration, corridors by way of the constructing had been half open-air, welcoming a breeze to circulate by way of. Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation and the Dominican monastery of La Tourette had been key references for Rudolph right here, and the constructing was a precursor to the Artwork and Structure constructing at Yale College.
Butterfield Home, 2015
This multigenerational home was designed by Carl Abbott, who studied at Harvard underneath Paul Rudolph, labored with IM Pei in New York and collaborated with Richard Rogers and Norman Foster in London. He arrange his apply in Sarasota within the Nineteen Sixties, turning into the youngest member of the Sarasota Faculty of Structure. Knowledgeable by the encompassing nature and inspiring out of doors residing, this home has elevated 180-degree views to the Gulf of Mexico and Lido Key. it incorporates a shaded area beneath the higher ranges of the house and is painted gray to replicate the seashells of Siesta Key.
Launched with this yr’s Structure Sarasota MOD Weekend, the exhibition, ‘Tropical Modernism: Local weather and Design’, at Structure Sarasota on the McCullough Pavilion, runs 17 November 2022 – 25 February 2023
architecturesarasota.org (opens in new tab)