And the winners of these design awards are:


Local architecture has moved well outside the box. The Gulf Coast chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented its Design Awards Thursday in advance of this weekend’s Sarasota Design Conference, and the winning entries illustrate what has become the state of the art here. Enclosed structures are less evident; open, airy buildings, many with flying posts and beams that frame outdoor space, and raw concrete walls and roofs, provide grand views for clients.


PHOTO GALLERY: This is the place to be.


Winning architects include local firms Guy Peterson Office for Architecture, Seibert Architects, Sweet Sparkman Architects, Leader Design Studio, Carl Abbott Architect/Planner, Julian Norman-Webb Studios, Halflants + Pichette Studio for Modern Architecture, Carlson Studio Architects and Traction Architecture of Tampa.

“Your work being acknowledged by your peers is your best compliment, as they are your toughest critics,” said Guy Peterson.

aia2The entries were judged by an all-San Diego, Calif., jury — architects Douglas Austin, James Brown and Kevin deFreitas; Bastiaan Bouma, executive director of AIA San Diego; and Gregory J. Marick, president of the NewSchool of Architecture + Design.

The awards:


Award of Excellence
• Beach Park Pavilions, Manasota, North Jetty, Casperson and South Lido beaches in Sarasota County, Sweet Sparkman Architects. These structures replace aging or obsolete buildings that serve beach-goers. The jury said the pavilions “are uniquely suited to their place. They are functional and beautiful with well-integrated sustainable elements that add rather than detract from their aesthetic.”

Awards of Merit
• Lifestyle Wellness Center, Sun ’n’ Fun, Sarasota, Carlson Studio Architects. This $4.5 million, 18,000-square-foot indoor pool and fitness facility is LEED-Gold certified. The walls are made with insulated concrete forms for a high R-value. It is distinctive for its sweeping curved roof with exposed laminated beams. “The roof is suspended playfully by the sloping interior columns,” said the jury.
• St. Thomas More Church renovation and expansion, Sarasota, Julian Norman-Webb Studios. The expansion includes a bell tower and outdoor baptismal font and meditation plaza.


Award of Excellence

• “Volumetric Elements” (Durbin Residence), Casey Key, Guy Peterson Office for Architecture. Sited on a barrier island off the west coast of Florida, this house responds to the site context and extreme climatic events with a modernist design vocabulary and the use of materials that can with stand the stresses of the beach environment.

Awards of Merit
• Spencer Residence, Sarasota, Guy Peterson OFA. This modernist house, in a neighborhood of vintage homes, has become a landmark. The house features a shallow concrete foundation on stone columns, concrete masonry exterior walls with cement plaster finish, galvanized steel columns, anodized aluminum storefront system, low-e impact glass, ipe wood siding, wood interior floors, and poured shell on all exterior floors.
• Seagrape House, Anna Maria, Traction Architecture. “This retreat appears to be a great place to get away,” said the jury. “The architect skillfully combines materials in a way that shows special care and attention to detail.”
• Popper Brooks Residence Waterfront Addition, St. Armands Key, Halflants + Pichette Studio for Modern Architecture. “With a few simple, but bold moves,” said the jury, “this addition to a waterfront home proves to be transformative. The home opens up to the water views and outdoor living while creating dynamic interior spaces that add drama to the lives of those involved.”
• Bayshore Residence, St. Petersburg, Halflants + Pichette Studio for Modern Architecture.
• Glass House, Acacia Avenue, Sarasota, Seibert Architects. Michael Epstein was the architect of this small house with many windows for natural light in an old area of small homes.


Awards of Excellence
• 54th Street West Renovation, Anna Maria, Leader Design Studio. “The interior renovation of this two-story townhouse was designed to reflect the European owner’s desire for an open and elegant home featuring clean lines and timeless natural materials,” said Leader, 34, who won his first chapter award as an associate member of the AIA. “The original home featured a dark kitchen, low ceilings, angled walls and dated finishes.”
• Zen Retreat, location undisclosed, Carl Abbott Architect/Planner. Abbott renovated an aging cottage, removing the walls and making it an open, yet sheltered platform for yoga and meditation. “This project defies categorization,” said the jurors. “It manages to achieve a great strength exactly because of its willingness to not try and be everything at once. It is a poetic piece of architecture, or sculpture, or thought.”

Award of Merit
• Strandhus, Lido Shores, Sarasota, Sweet Sparkman Architects. Architect Jerry Sparkman converted a tired 1960s split-level house into fresh and functional modernism with a landscape punctuated by a shallow pool with steps and a platform for casual dining.


Awards of Merit
• Anna Maria House, Halflants + Pichette.
• Verandah House, Halflants + Pichette. “The composition of this project is well studied in both plan and elevation,” said the jurors. “It successfully transforms the essence of informal construction into formal architecture."
• Casey Key House 2, Guy Peterson OFA. This is a bayfront house that has a tower for viewing the Gulf of Mexico. The design uses the modernist language for which Peterson is known. “The simplicity and rationale of plan coupled with its strength in its three-dimensional sculptural form distinguishes this Casey Key home,” said the jury.

Award of Divine Detail
• Asian Art Museum, Sweet Sparkman Architects/Machado Silvetti. “We had to invent a category for this project,” said the jury. “While we were not completely convinced in the entirety of the project, the ceramic exterior skin was of such quality and beauty that we had to acknowledge it.”


Award of Excellence
• “Common Ground / Venice Biennale” (now displayed in the Sarasota Museum of Art), Sweet Sparkman Architects. The jury, calling it a “precious gem,” said it was “taken by this incredibly thoughtful and thought-provoking work of art.” The design celebrates the influence and inspiration provided by Siesta Beach’s sand.


Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: May 24, 2014
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