It’s official! The newly-formed Center for Architecture Sarasota is a force to be reckoned with. Saturday (Oct 20th) marked their opening weekend, which started with a cocktail party and a whopping $85,000 donation from Heather Chappel. On Sunday, they held two sold out tours of the Guy Peterson-designed Spencer house, and co-hosted a lecture by architect and urbanist Vishaan Chakrabarti, author of A Country of Cities, A Manifesto For Urban America. But wait, there’s more!
Graphic from Center For Architecture Sarasota
Center For Architecture Sarasota has big ambitions, including the renovation and occupancy of a county-owned Sarasota School of Architecture building at 265 S. Orange. The group plans to use the building for a variety of events such as community programs, lectures, exhibits, and film screenings. In addition, this CFAS site will include a University of Florida satellite campus for architectural graduate students called Citylab-Sarasota.
When I heard that CFAS had organized the first public tour of the Spencer house (corner of Orange and Prospect) I bought my ticket straight away. I’m firmly in the ‘love it’ crowd and even wrote a post titled Say Yes to the Spencer House in May. I think the exterior of this modern house is fresh and original, and couldn’t wait to take a look inside.
There is so much to love about the architectural elements of the interior – the open floorplan, big expansive windows, oodles of natural light, rare fish fossil stone tile and accordion doors that open up to the pool. My favorite feature, however, has to be the perforated wall openings. I’m just crazy about the repeating patterns of light.
Now let’s talk art… How about the inkblot canvas in the living room? It’s a welcome burst of color and inkblots are always playful, never serious! It’s not all fun and games at the Spencer House however. Beth and Gary have sprinkled archeological art and artifacts throughout the space as well. Those pieces demand respect and provide contrast to the bright, modern design. Business in the front, party in the back!
I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Many thanks to the Spencer’s for allowing the public in, and to Cindy Peterson and the Center For Architecture team for making it happen. For more information about upcoming CFAS events, ‘Like’ them on Facebook and check their website for updates.