Archtober event in Sarasota signifies a month for design



Sarasota is known for its midcentury modern architecture, but there is more to the local design scene.

As today’s architects distinguish themselves with award-winning projects, the Center for Architecture Sarasota (CFAS) will celebrate the progression of design with its second “Archtober” event, which features two lectures and two tours in October.

“We respect the past, celebrate the present and look forward to the future in architecture,” said Cindy Peterson, president and founder of CFAS. “Archtober is about what is happening with architecture now, and how it is affecting the built environment and our community, socially and economically.”

The program is being presented in partnership with the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Now in its fourth year, Archtober is a national observation, with AIA chapters and other groups from across the nation joining in. But the Sarasota event is not limited to the work of local architects.

“We want to focus on what is happening globally, not just locally,” said Peterson. “We are trying to expose all of us to what is going on beyond our community.”

Archtober begins with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at CFAS headquarters at the Scott Building, 265 S. Orange Ave., Sarasota. Guests include Christopher Silver, dean of the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning, and Jason Alread, the new director of UF’s School of Architecture.

UF will open its CityLab program for graduate students in architecture at the Scott Building in 2015.

Other guests include Joe Farrell, a Hawaii-based architect who designed the Scott Building in 1960; John Bryant, president of the AIA’s local chapter; and Holly Dennis, president of the American Society of Interior Designers’ Florida West Coast chapter.

Other events:
• Oct. 7 — A lecture by Michael Pyatok, an architect and professor from New York, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Francis, 1289 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota.

Pyatok is an expert in public and workplace housing, with more than 35,000 units designed by his firm since 1984.

In 2001, Harvard appointed Pyatok as its Buchsbaum Visiting Professor of Affordable Housing, and, in 2013, the AIA awarded him its Thomas Jefferson Award.

A panel discussion follows the lecture. Panelists are Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin, businessman Jesse Biter, New College sociology and environmental studies professor David Brain, City of Sarasota Urban Design Studio director Karin Murphy and Arts and Cultural Alliance executive director Jim Shirley.

“This will be a much-needed discussion on affordable workforce housing in Sarasota,” Peterson said.
• Oct. 16 — A lecture by landscape architect Thomas Balsley, 5 to 7 p.m., USF Sarasota-Manatee Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Thomas Balsley Associates of New York is known for landscape urbanism within public parks. Balsley has completed more than 100 parks and plazas, including Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa.

Balsley is designing the landscape for a Guy Peterson-designed residence that is “on the boards” for Casey Key. The client knows Balsley and invited him to join the project, Cindy Peterson said.
• Oct. 22 — “Atelier Talk,” a visit to the offices of CMSA Architects and DWY Landscape Architects, 5 to 7 p.m., 300 S. Orange Ave., Sarasota.

This is the first of a series developed by CFAS to visit the design studios. First up is a tour of the studios of architect Clifford M. Scholz and landscape architect David W. Young. The monthly series will be held through April, with the exception of December.

“We will go into architects’ offices and see what is on the boards,” Peterson said. “This series offers access for our members and the public who don’t normally have that access. It is a chance to see what is happening in the design world” and how the process works, she added.
• Oct. 26 — “House Tour,” a 4 p.m. visit to “The Nautilus House,” designed by architect Carl Abbott in 2000 in the waterfront Coral Cove neighborhood in south Sarasota. This is a members-only tour of the residence of Mel and Gary Schmidt. The Schmidts recently presented $10,000 to CFAS.

The CFAS and AIA websites and social media outlets also will feature “a project a day” in October, showcasing significant contemporary projects from around the state. Again, the emphasis is on education and awareness.

“People don’t know the significant buildings in Jacksonville or Gainesville or wherever,” said Peterson. “We are working with the AIA on that.”

Tickets range from $10 to $25 per event, with CFAS members paying the lowest price, and are available through the Center for Architecture Sarasota website ( Tickets for some events, including the Atelier Talk and the house tour, are limited.

Archtober is not affiliated with Sarasota MOD Weekend, a presentation of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation Oct. 9-12.


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: October 2, 2014
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