SAF, with the help of Josh Myers, recently restored 420 louvers on the Cocoon House. The 70 year-old louvers were sanded and refinished with delicate care to maintain the original…
Healy Guest House
The Cocoon House, officially known as the Healy Guest House, was constructed in 1950 by the partnership of Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph. Its nickname comes from the innovative roofing material used – a spray-on plastic that Paul Rudolph observed being used in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to cocoon or “mothball” ships coming back from World War II.
Paul Rudolph, 1950
Perched on the edge of the bayou with opening jalousie walls, this house was designed for breezes and view. The curved roof structure of steel straps and insulation board is as light and delicate as possible. Imagine it with no other houses around. How did such a radical and experimental structure get built? Twitchell’s in-laws were the clients, and it was built by Twitchell’s construction firm, Associated Builders. This house gained worldwide attention for Twitchell and Rudolph and Sarasota architecture. – Joseph King
Healy Guest House - Today
The 750 square foot structure was historically designated by the City of Sarasota in 1985 and is currently a rental property.
Sarasota Architectural Foundation, in conjunction with their celebration of Paul Rudolph’s 100th birthday, began leasing the building in April 2018. SAF subsequently carried out small renovations to the property, including the stripping of white paint from the louvers, re-building the front and back porches, and providing a period-correct front door.
Following renovations, SAF contracted local interior designer Ellen Hanson of Pansy Bayou to furnish the structure in a 1950s style; SAF then opened up the house to the public for monthly tours.