A glass house in Sarasota


PHOTO GALLERY: Glass house on Siesta Key

Perched dramatically on the tip of a Siesta Key peninsula, the new coastal contemporary house at the end of Point Crisp Road is all about water views. The structure’s walls are 80-percent glass, providing maximum vistas on three sides. Listed at $5,675,000 by Larry Zeigler of Michael Saunders & Co., the house was designed by Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects in Sarasota. He describes the two-story, 4,680-square-foot dwelling as a home for someone who is social.

The design of this house for sale on Point Crisp is called coastal contemporary. It was designed by architect Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects in collaboration with homeowners Lynn and John Noble of Pennsylvania.  (Staff photo by Mike Lang)

The design of this house for sale on Point Crisp is called coastal contemporary. It was designed by architect Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects in collaboration with homeowners Lynn and John Noble of Pennsylvania. (Staff photo by Mike Lang)

“No matter where you are in this house, you are connected to the water and everyday life on that water,” he said. “You see boats, jet skiers, birds, fishermen, people out for a sail, and they see you. There is a view to the water no matter where you are in the house, including the master walk-in closet, which has two windows, and the walk-in shower in the master bath. Even the garage has glass doors.”

Sultana explained that ripples of water influenced the architecture of the house, guiding the shape of the aluminum roof and the grand entrance terrace. The the roof, which seems to flow down upon the house, and the prominent terrace are meant to simulate the wake of a passing ship.

Even the elevator, which is a sleek pneumatic tube, is glass and offers bay views as you zoom up and glide down. The elevator is Jetsons-futuristic and fun, as well as good-looking.

A long section of the floor on the upper-level game room is glass so that light floods the downstairs living room from all sides — even from above. All the interior solid-core doors have a rectangular glass silt incorporated into the design. The living room “wall” is 18 feet of glass doors that fold back accordion-style to expand the space to the outdoor gourmet kitchen and entertaining space that descends to the swimming pool/waterfall and the bay beyond. Stepping stones float on an additional cascading water feature leading to the pool so the homeowner has the feeling of walking on water.

The couple who built the Point Crisp house were inspired by the Sarasota Yacht Club, a DSDG project completed about three years ago. While vacationing in Florida from Pennsylvania, John and Lynn Noble bought two lots at the tip of Point Crisp and then contacted Sultana and asked for a home with the airy feel of the yacht club.

“The first design I did for them was more Key West in character, and while we all liked it, the Nobles wanted more glass to reveal more views of the water,” said Sultana. “The only way to effectively do that was to go with a coastal contemporary style and to essentially make the structure all about glass and capturing water views. There’s not a lot of wall space for hanging art. The water and nature are the art features. The glass walls frame them.”

From design to completion, the house and grounds took about two years. MyGreenBuildings was the contractor; the house is certified LEED-Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. It was named 2013 “House of the Year” by SRQ Magazine.

But the homeowners didn’t celebrate with a party and then move. Instead, the Nobles have decided not to live in Sarasota after all. They chose to live closer to their two grown daughters in the Northeast and California. So they put both the Point Crisp home and the vacant lot next door on the market. The parcels are listed separately, but Sultana is hopeful that whoever buys the house will want the extra lot.

“It could be a tennis court, or new owners could use it to build a guest house,” he suggested. “But, it is a buildable lot, too, so that means another full-size home could go up. It would be kind of a shame since this one is set off so beautifully with that extra space.”

Amenities galore

Inside the Noble house, amenities, some of them custom, fill this open-concept floor plan.
• The frosted-glass upper cabinets in the kitchen open, garage-door style, and the shelves are extra deep.
• The vanity mirrors in the bathrooms raise to reveal glass-shelved cabinets with hidden electrical outlets.
• In the outdoor kitchen, the vent for the barbecue grill is concealed in the cypress ceiling.
• The new dock has a 10,000-pound lift.
• The fireplace is the living room is powered with bio-fuel.
• The extra-wide front door has no hinges; it pivots to open.
• The signature custom item in the house is the angular stairway made of glass, steel and white oak. “This staircase had to be fabricated on site,” said Sultana. “It’s both functional and very much part of the aesthetics of the structure, and it took skilled craftsmen a month to make and install it. I think of it as a piece of sculpture, and it may be my favorite thing in the house.”

Other house amenities are pretty much standard in homes selling for $5 million or more, of which there are 51 listed on the Sarasota MLS. There’s a laundry room on each floor; each of the four bedrooms claims an en-suite bath, walk-in closet and balcony. The kitchen appliances are Viking and Bosch (two dishwashers) and all the spacious counters are white Caesarstone quartz. The patios have Indonesian shellstone and the floors in the house are white oak. Exterior terrace ceilings and the home’s deep overhangs are cypress. The light fixtures are distinctive, and the ceiling fans were chosen by the owners to make a statement — they’re big and modern and definitely draw the eye up.

But there is unending beauty to capture the eye and hold one’s attention at Point Crisp.

“Every house is somewhat special because the site dictates what should be built on it,” said Sultana. “And every site is different and has its own set of challenges.

“But nothing about Point Crisp — not the lot, the location on the tip of the point or the house that maximizes the views — can be duplicated. It’s a totally unique project.”

Homeowner Lynn Noble, who sometimes questions why the house is on the market given that she and her husband lavished so much attention on it, said in a video about the house, “We really made our mark on Sarasota.”

She could be right.


Marsha Fottler

Marsha Fottler has been a newspaper and magazine lifestyle, food and design writer since 1968 first in Boston and in Florida since 1970. She contributes to regional and national publications and she is co-publisher and editor of a monthly online magazine that celebrates the pleasures of the table called Flavors & More. (941) 371-8593.
Last modified: August 25, 2013
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