Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Design City | Sarasota Firms Again Well Represented among AIA- Florida Design-Award Winners

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Design City | Sarasota Firms Again Well Represented among AIA- Florida Design-Award Winners

Article excerpt


Of the 27 design awards that will be presented by the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean at its 2016 convention in Palm Beach in July, eight are going to firms from Sarasota.

"Honor" awards, the top honor in each design category, have been awarded to Sweet Sparkman Architects, Hall Architects, Guy Peterson OFA and Halflants + Pichette Studio for Modern Architecture.

One "merit" award each will be presented to Solstice Architects and Seibert Architects, while Carl Abbott FAIA Architect/Planner has been awarded two of them.

Local firms did especially well when working with historic buildings. Sweet Sparkman Architects won an Honor Award of Excellence for Renovations/Additions for its Siesta Key Beach Pavilion project, which included restoring the 1959 pavilion that was designed by Tim Seibert, and adding an updated facility to it.

"There was electrical and junk all over" the original pavilion, said John Bryant of Sweet Sparkman.

Hall Architects was in charge of the Umbrella House Rehabilitation and Shade Structure Reconstruction in Sarasota's Lido Shores, and won an Honor Award for Excellents in Historic Preservation/Restoration. The house was designed in 1953 by Paul Rudolph and is considered by many as the most iconic residence of the Sarasota School era of midcentury modern architecture.

Guy Peterson OFA won its Honor Award for Unbuilt Design for the Nathan Benderson Park Finish Tower. Construction has begun on that structure.

The Verandah House, a striking ultramodern composition in historic McClellan Park by Halflants + Pichette SMA, won an Honor Award for Sustainable Design.

Carl Abbott won a Merit Award for the Test of Time for his Casa Gioco on a barrier island along the Gulf Coast (the owners required Abbott's secrecy), and a second Merit Award for a new house, the Caribbean Hillside Residence, in St. Maarten, Dutch Antilles.

Solstice Architects, led by Jonathan Parks, AIA, won a Merit Award of Excellence for Renovations/Additions for its rehabilitation of 1960 Sarasota High School's Building 4, another landmark structure that was the crowning achievement of Paul Rudolph's Florida years as he moved on to become dean of Yale's architecture school. Harvard Jolly was the architect of record on the rehabilitative project.

The school board promised to rehabilitate, instead of tear down, the building after the demolition of Rudolph's Riverview High School in

2009, but an early plan called for the enclosure of the breezeways that are a prominent part of the original building. As completed the renovation includes an entirely new interior and the restoration of the exterior, including the original roofline, to which the school board added a parapet some years ago.

"The success of the project is to keep the breezeways open," Parks told the Herald-Tribune in 2015. "The bigger success was not having the building torn down.

"The original gestures of the exterior are now prominent," he added. "The parapet had put a lid on the building. Now it is like a ballerina on her toes."

Seibert Architects won a Merit Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation/Restoration for the midcentury modern T.H. Mitchell House in Sarasota.

The Umbrella House is widely considered among the most significant midcentury modern houses in the nation. It was designed as a model home for developer Phil Hiss' Lido Shores neighborhood at the north end of Lido Key. …

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