The Cocoon House, also known as the Healy Guest House, put Sarasota on the map during the Florida Mid-Century Modern period. Built in 1948 by Paul Rudolph with the help of Ralph Twitchell, this iconic structure is known for its architectural expression and technological innovation that still inspires many visitors today.
The 750-square-foot Cocoon House gets its nickname from the technology used to build its distinctive catenary roof: a polymer spray Rudolph saw being used at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on warships returning after WWII to “cocoon” or mothball them. The house’s simple layout lends to an uncluttered coastal lifestyle. The Modernist floor plan remains a distinctive example of the Sarasota School of Architecture.
The Cocoon House has won many accolades over the years, including “Best House of the Year” by the American Institute of Architects in 1949. In 1953, the Museum of Modern Art named the house a “Pioneer of Design,” one of 19 examples of houses built since World War II demonstrating the future of design. In 1985, the City of Sarasota declared the Cocoon House a historic property in 1985. In 2018, Architecture Sarasota signed a long-term rental for the house and refurbished the exterior and vintage-inspired interior.
Our Nautilus Homes team recently held a celebration event at the “Jewel Box Home” – a level thoughtfulness and quality which we apply to each of our projects. We shared a special meal together to celebrate this year’s milestones, honor our employee’s efforts and successes, and set intentions for the new year. With its rich history contributing to the architectural movements of the mid-century, the Healy Guest House was the ideal place to mark another successful year being Sarasota’s only native, second-generation builder.
Staying Connected to History
Watch how the Sarasota Architectural Foundation undertook the Healy Guest House as a preservation project in 2018.
Supporting the local community and the preservation of Sarasota’s architectural treasures is an important core value of Nautilus Homes. President Ryan Perrone currently serves on the Board of Directors of Architecture Sarasota as Vice President. Supporting Architecture Sarasota is incredibly important to stay connected to the history of architecture in Sarasota in order to gain inspiration for creating the future. As part of their Iconic Homes Tour, Architecture Sarasota is now offering tours of the Healy Guest House open to the public in an effort to promote awareness of the building and the Sarasota School of Architecture movement. Architecture Sarasota also provides a forum for the education, advocacy, and celebration of good design in the global built environment. Click here for more information on their series of rotating exhibitions, public educational programs, scholarly projects, and community events.
Gene Leedy Exhibit Opens April 7–June 26, 2022
If you’re looking for another inspiring body of work from the Sarasota School of Architecture, Architecture Sarasota is hosting a Gene Leedy exhibition April 7, 2022, through June 26, 2022. Tickets are now on sale to the general public. Leedy is one of the founding fathers of the Sarasota School of Architecture and his design philosophy resulted in a phenomenon of modern architecture, a unique collection created during a period of over fifty years. The project is supported by architect Max Strang, who is the primary lender to the exhibition, in addition to the Leedy family. Strang was raised in a Mid-Century Modern home designed by Gene Leedy of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Prior to starting his own firm in 2001, Strang also worked for Leedy.
“Unquestionably, Rudolph’s and Leedy’s works impressed upon me the importance of regional modernist architecture. It is from these early influences that I attribute my appreciation for site-driven and climate-driven architecture.” – Max Strang