Sarasota Modern Architecture

What is Sarasota Mod Weekend

“There’s a reason a handful of communities in the world stand out for architectural innovation. Sarasota’s one of them. You really do have to see it to believe it.”

— Carl Abbott FAIAAmerican Legacy: The Sarasota School of Architecture


Sarasota MOD Weekend 2019 Sarasota Architectural Foundation


What is SarasotaMOD?

Sarasota architecture truly has something special.

SarasotaMOD Weekend 2019 gives us a highly unique opportunity to bring a 21st century encore to the Sarasota Modern movement, which flourished from 1941-1966.

Featured in the New York Times, Dwell Magazine, and Architectural Digest, the 6th annual event is presented by the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, which brings awareness of the Sarasota School of Architecture (also known as Sarasota Modern) movement “helping to preserve or rehabilitate its irreplaceable buildings and demonstrating its relevance to the contemporary built environment.” The organization works with government leaders, awards scholarships, and presents ongoing films, lectures, and tours educating the community.

Learn more about the foundation here.

The Sarasota School of Architecture is a regional style of post-war modern architecture that emerged on Florida’s Central West Coast, specifically focused in Sarasota, Florida. A Sarasota Modern home is often “characterized by open-plan structures, often with large planes of glass to facilitate natural illumination and ventilation, that address the unique indigenous requirements of the regional climate”. Several of the Sarasota Modern pioneering architects’ careers were launched by this style and several important buildings remain today.

Check out more on the Sarasota School of Architecture below!


What are the must sees?

This year’s theme is Sarasota in the Sixties instead of highlighting on architect, they are entertaining a broader range of features of that decade. The weekend is chock full of fun events. Here are some of our favorites!

SarasotaMOD Weekend Opening Party, $50

  •  – 
  • The Sarasota Modern (map)

Kick off SarasotaMOD Weekend at The Sarasota Modern, a downtown luxury boutique hotel. Capture the spirit of “Sarasota in the Sixties” at our poolside party with music by The Shindigs, a Beach Boys tribute band. You and your guests will enjoy a fun, hip 1960s vibe and decor, photo booth, hors d’oeuvres, drinks and valet provided by The Sarasota Modern Hotel, the Official Hotel of SarasotaMOD Weekend. This event is sure to sell out, so get your tickets early.


Saturday Morning Program: “Sarasota in the Sixties”, $50

  •  – 
  • Holley Hall (map)

*Includes Breakfast

Join SAF as it explores Sarasota’s development in the 1960s. The morning begins with the screening of a wonderfully retro promotional short “David of Sarasota,” produced by the Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce in 1965. Native Floridian John McCarthy, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Heritage Association and Historic Spanish Point, will provide a colorful overview of the town during this this decade, followed by a panel of architects and historians moderated by Christopher Domin, co-author of “Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses.” The morning will finish with a talk by Sarasota School architect Frank Folsom Smith, providing insight into his work of the 1960s. Special thanks to SAF’s educational program partner, the Sarasota Art Museum.

Sarasota Modern Architecture

Lido Shores Self-Guided Walking Tours $50 (can also be bundled with the Umbrella House and Hiss Studio for $75)

  •  – 
  • Lido Shores (map)

After a hiatus in 2018, this tour is back by popular demand, with returning favorites and new gems to explore. Lido Shores was developed by Philip Hiss, who designed many of the early houses and also commissioned local architects such as Tim Seibert, Ralph and William Zimmerman and Paul Rudolph. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of Lido Shores as you stroll through the neighborhood, a midcentury modern gem itself. Interiors of many private homes will be accessible to ticket holders.

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase. Please note: timed tours of the Umbrella House and Hiss Studio must be purchased with ticket bundle.

The Nautilus Homes team will be volunteering to help out with these as well so come and say hello to us! Also, check out our brand new build at 1240 Westway Dr. right in the middle of the tour!


Yoga at the Umbrella House $30

  •  – 
  • Lido Shores (map)

Experience a rare opportunity to salute the sun at what Architectural Digest named “One of the five most remarkable houses of the mid-twentieth century.” Yoga practice led by Kris Galea, Yoga From The Heart.

Yoga At the Umbrella House Sarasota, FL

“Making Your Mid-Century Modern an Architectural Gem” Sunday AM Panel Discussion, FREE EVENT

  •  – 
  • BOTA Center (map)

Join SAF and visit our friends at Hive Architects at the BOTA Center in the Rosemary District, as we provide ideas about how to save a mid-century modern structure and bring it up-to-date. The panel will include the BOTA Center’s developer and architects, as well as local homeowners who have updated their homes with today’s tastes in mind. Learn about the architectural gems of Sarasota — the celebrated structures we know and love, as well as the hidden treasures. What are the features that characterize mid-century modern homes in southwest Gulfcoast Florida? How can these homes be adapted for today’s challenges without compromising their original designs? Learn how to preserve your architectural treasure from homeowners, architects and builders who will share their stories as well as offer ideas and practical advice.

“Sunset at Plymouth Harbor” MOD Closing Party $100

As the sixth annual SarasotaMOD draws to a close, join us at the innovative Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay. Plymouth Harbor, designed in 1966 by Frank Folsom Smith and Louis S. Schneider, serves as a fantastic backdrop for the SAF’s “Sarasota in the Sixties” closing party. A great opportunity to end SarasotaMOD Weekend and enjoy an amazing sunset on Plymouth Harbor’s pool terrace. Light bites, drinks, 1960s entertainment, tours of Plymouth Harbor and more await at this landmark piece of architectural history in Sarasota.

There are tons of tours including trolley tours around downtown, Siesta Key, Southgate, tours of the Cocoon House and the Revere Quality House. There is truly something for everyone interested in Sarasota history and architecture.


How do I sign up?

You can get your tickets here!

We want to thank the Sarasota Architectural Foundation for putting on this event, and we really look forward to putting our time and energy into honoring the history and unique architecture of Sarasota.

Happy SarasotaMOD weekend!

cocoon house sarasota

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Sarasota Ranks #3 on Top 5 Hottest Markets for Second Homes


According to the Christie’s Luxury Real Estate Marketing report 2018,


“Luxury is… A word too often used by anyone with goods or services to sell. It gives branding agencies heartburn because of its overuse and the consumer’s resulting lackluster response, which defeat the very purpose of the word. ‘Luxury’ needs to be reimagined. Rather than a banal adjective for anything costly or fine, it should be considered as a noun, more in terms of ‘having the luxury of’ something that we aspire to obtain.”


We couldn’t agree more. What says “having the luxury of something we aspire to obtain” more than having a spot to call your own in your favorite place in the world? Where in the world are the spots people want to be on their “off time” in a second home? The report boasts Sarasota, Florida as #3 on the list of top five hottest markets for second homes.


Secondary Hottest Markets Christie's Luxury Real Estate Report 2018


Also making the list were:

With its white beaches, tropical temperatures, a robust arts, entertainment, and shopping scene – it’s no wonder Sarasota has risen through the ranks as America’s favorite spot for a second home.

With all of these features, it may pleasantly surprise you that Sarasota has one of the lowest average luxury real estate prices of 2018. The average price of a luxury home in Sarasota was $1.7 million compared with $340,000 in the average home price in the same area. Topping the chart for average luxury real estate price was Monaco at $5.6 million while Lake Tahoe, Greenville, and Turks & Caicos hold the bottoms spots at just $1.4 million.


While we know Sarasota is also a perfect place to have a primary residence (after all, we call it home!), here are the chart toppers for hottest luxury primary markets with Victoria, British Columbia charging the top (now on our travel bucket list) and Paris, France holding spot number 5.



We are proud of Sarasota for receiving the recognition that it deserves! If you are interested in building a second (or primary) home in Sarasota, we are happy to have a conversation and guide you in the right direction!



Joe and Gwen Kelly Hive Architects

Inside the Minds of Two Great Visionaries- Interview with Hive Architects

Inside the Minds of Two Great Visionaries- Interview with Hive Architects

Sit back, grab a cup of something cozy, and get ready to go inside the minds of two of Sarasota’s most influential up-and-coming architects. Joe and Gwen Kelly, who struck up a chemistry in…well chemistry class while at University of Florida have spent decades building up their knowledge and experience working with prestigious architects in the area. Just as they promised each other in college, they recently launched their long awaited dream firm- Hive Architects. Nautilus is honored to be bringing their newest vision, Shibusa, to life. We have enjoyed working with and getting to know them on this project and decided to sit down, dig even deeper, and learn a little more about what makes them tick. Keep reading to see our new project and see what brings them their creative inspiration.


Joe and Gwen Kelly Hive Architects

Interview With Nautilus Homes How did you get started in your career?

When we were in college, we both had majors in the medical field. We quickly realized that we were
lacking passion for this academic branch so we decided to seek another path and took an aptitude test
to determine what we would be best at. Our test results were identical with architecture at the top of
the list. With almost no knowledge about architecture, we both enrolled at the University of Florida
College of Design, Construction, and Planning in Gainesville. Passion for architecture struck us the first
day we attended our Design 1 class. We looked at each other and agreed that one day we would have
our own architecture practice.

Hive Architects Sarasota, FL

Joe Kelly Hive Architects

Gwen Leroy-Kelly Hive Architects

Interview With Nautilus Homes What about your career gets you out of bed every day?

There are so many facets and scales to creativity in architecture. From problem solving, to the
conception of 3D spaces, to structural composition and its constructability, to the coordination of
materials and finishes, they are all part of a thought process that started from an idea that one day will
become a concrete habitable structure. It’s rewarding when a project is completed and you see your
Client enjoying the spaces you’ve designed for them.



Hive Architects Sarasota, FL

Hive Architects Sarasota, FL

Interview With Nautilus Homes What do you foresee as the next trend or movement in your industry?

Over the past 20 years designing residential projects, we have seen an ever increasing demand for
interior square footage and larger footprints. The home owners’ demand for additional interior floor
area is not necessarily because people need more space. It is usually based on the false perception
that more space equates to a better life. However, contrary to the northern climate where people
spend most of their time indoors due to poor weather, Florida’s climate contributes to people living
outside as much as inside. The patio, courtyard, or backyard become an outdoor room and an
extension of the interior spaces blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. A trend within
our office is to conceive designs that are efficient in all aspects of space planning utilizing less area,
and promoting continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. In addition, an efficient foot print is
more economical, sustainable, and practical.


Hive Architects Sarasota, FL

Hive Architects Sarasota, FL



Interview With Nautilus Homes Tell us about the new project you’ve been working on with Nautilus Homes.

Shibusa is a Japanese concept related to the aesthetic philosophy of simplicity and modesty with
refinement in the details. Hive’s design for this residential project embodies this notion with a balance
between the simplicity of form and the complexity of the details. The main structure is a simple
elevated L-shaped volume that is articulated by the application and composition of different materials
and architectural elements such as board-formed concrete, wood siding, and powder coated vertical
sun-screens. During the initial dialogue about Shibusa, Nautilus immediately understood the integral
importance of the conceptual idea and the resulting built environment. Prior to construction, Ryan and
his team assisted us in researched materials and construction methods that would best suit the
resulting outcome. It was evident to us that the relationship between Hive and Nautilus was symbiotic
in the desire to bring Shibusa to life.


Sarasota Waterfront Modern Home Best Home Builder

    Shibusa Sarasota Best Builder


Interview With Nautilus Homes What is one thing that clients building a new home frequently overlook?

There is a sequence of steps that is part of the design and construction process that have to take
place for any project to become reality. Most clients that are not familiar with the fields of architecture
and construction overlook the importance and the time involved in developing a comprehensive and
accurate set of plans. The construction documents are a road map and communication tool for the
contractor to configure the construction of the project from the foundations, to the structural
framework, to the finish materials, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and so many more
elements. Not only it is important for the contractor to have a complete set of plans, it is also
important for the clients as the plans document everything that will be included in their new home
and also will help determine the accurate cost of the project prior to construction.


Hive Architects Sarasota, FL


Interview With Nautilus Homes Where do you get your creative inspiration?

While we were in college, we took a seminar to study the mid-century Case Study Houses program
developed in California. This post-war experimental movement for modern residential architecture
utilized new construction materials and methods with simplicity of form and expression of structural
systems. During the same era, the Sarasota School of Architecture movement emerged in a parallel
manner but was differentiated by its adaptation to Florida’s subtropical climate. Some of these midcentury
structures were so well conceived that they are still relevant today and therefore timeless. We
take inspiration on the architectural concepts engendered by these modern movements. These
include simple volumes and lines with a strong emphasis on the expression of the structural systems,
as well as, architectural components that respond to the Florida’s climate like deep overhangs
shading large expanses of glass, slatted brise-soleil, windows and sliding doors strategically located
to provide cross ventilation, and the continuation of materials from inside to outside to stretch the
space beyond the limit of its physical boundary.


Hive Architects Sarasota, FL

Hive Architects Sarasota, FL  Hive Architects Sarasota, FL


Interview With Nautilus Homes Tell us about your own dream home? What would be important to you?

It is our dream to design a house for ourselves that would be inspired by the Sarasota School of
Architecture movement but adapted to today’s way of living. We prefer a smaller and efficiently
configured home that can be opened up to the outdoors. It is important to us to have an open floor
plan for the main “public” spaces such as the kitchen, living room, and dining room, but we believe
the open floor plan concept should extend outwards and encompass portions of the outdoor spaces.
Large operable windows or moving screen walls can help define such spaces and control or filter
natural light and outside views. The idea behind this configuration is that the habitable structure
should not stand by itself as a foreign object in the landscape, on the contrary, it should be
completely integrated into it with an interplay of “push and pull” utilizing architectural and landscape


Hive Architects Sarasota, FL Hive Architects Sarasota, FL



Sarasota Beaches Attract Home Buyers Every Year

It’s not a secret that the United States has many beautiful cities that one can opt to call home. But there is one, in particular, that has become one of the most desirable places to live in, especially for many people from the Midwestern and Northeastern states who are looking to retire to a sunny climate in an area that is tax-friendly: Sarasota, Florida.

Sarasota is replete of one-of-a-kind attractions that can keep you busy, such as its dozens of lush beaches with tropical waters. According to’s article Escape to Our Sarasota Beaches . . . and Escape Your Everyday Life, Sarasota beaches are considered to be among the most beautiful in the United States. In a national poll of the top ten beaches in the US, Siesta Key Beach was rated number one. TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards named Siesta Public Beach as the number one beach in the United States as of February 2015.

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Sarasota Offers Some of the Best Dining Options in Florida

Those who have the pleasure of living in or visiting Sarasota are quick to say one of the reasons they love the area so much is its diverse dining options. Sarasota offers something for everyone. Its eclectic restaurant offerings are one of the reasons so many people vacation in Sarasota and the neighboring Keys. Those who are food enthusiasts will love the myriad of food choices and the ever-evolving restaurant scene that introduces flavors from all over the world.

The Sarasota area offers some of the most diverse food choices in the world, with new restaurants popping up on a regular basis. Of course, no one could visit Sarasota without enjoying its delicious local seafood. Seafood definitely is a big part of the tourist draw, yet there is so much more to this area’s diverse cuisine.

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