The Sarasota School of Architecture’s open, economical homes were fine-tuned for the Gulf Coast climate.

Florida couple John Pirman and Steve Tetreault built a new house inspired by the Sarasota School. Today’s FEMA codes required a plinth to lift the house five-and-a-half feet above grade and a roof that can withstand hurricane wind loads, making it a challenge to re-create the lightness of midcentury design, Pirman says.

The Sarasota School of Architecture, also dubbed Sarasota Modern, came of age in the 1940s, led by architect Paul Rudolph and his partner Ralph Twitchell along with Victor Lundy, Gene Leedy, and Tim Seibert. During the post-World War II housing boom, they built houses that embraced natural ventilation and illumination and forged strong connections with the outdoors. With their glass walls and verdant landscaping, these striking homes, as well as public buildings including Sarasota City Hall and Sarasota High School, amassed a following—even encouraging other architects to make their own mark on the movement. The modernist residences below—some of them original icons of the era, others located outside of Florida and simply inspired by the designs of Rudolph and his brethren—are all warm, clean-lined, and deft in pulling the outdoors inside.

This Sparkling New Home Is a Classic Remake of Sarasota School Modernism

Visitors to the house are greeted by an art-filled living room anchored by a B&B Italia Charles sofa and a pair of vintage Hans Wegner CH22 chairs. Track lighting from WAC Lighting Co. helps showcase individual pieces from the couple’s collection.

Calling to mind Paul Rudolph’s low-slung, midcentury glass pavilions, this Sarasota new-build by Seibert Architects features a roof that can sustain hurricane-level winds as well as sliding doors that open onto a plant-laden courtyard.



Photo: Joshua McHugh

Brooks and Scarpa took an unlovable old bungalow that occupied a deep through lot, with streets front and rear, and transformed it into their dream home. The ingenious new solar-framed façade is seen here.

This Santa Monica home is solar-powered. Inspired by Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella House, the architects—one of whom worked in Rudolph’s New York office—installed solar panels into a steel-beam canopy that shades and powers almost the entire property.

Photo: Marvin Rand

Dramatic, cantilevered overhangs make a visual impact, while shielding windows from sun and heat. Underlying soffits are thoughtfully trimmed in cedar.

Most of the year, the family keep the sliding glass doors—which span 16 feet from the living room to the exterior deck—of their Tampa dwelling open, giving it the aura of a Sarasota Modern home. Stunning cantilevered overhangs, in the spirit of Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella House, help tame the sun.

Brad Feinknopf

See the full story on Dwell.com: 10 Sarasota Modern Homes That Embrace Balmy Shores

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