Sarasota High School

Sarasota High School, a successor to Rudolph’s Riverview High School also in Sarasota (built 1958, demolished 2009), is the equivalent of all the principles that Paul Rudolph developed during the 1950s for his residential structures in Florida, but in a public building: habitable covered outdoor areas, large overhangs providing sun shading, and carefully arranged openings allowing for natural ventilation and light throughout the entire structure.
Sarasota High School Addition
Sarasota High School Addition
Although described as an addition to an existing school, Rudolph’s structure is actually physically separated from the original 1926 Collegiate-Gothic Sarasota High School, and can be described as three smaller buildings that are connected by one overall roof.
The main entrance from the south is through an impressive open “breezeway” up a flight of broad stairs. To the right of the breezeway was a double-height band room, and to the left, a two-story classroom block. The hallways of the classroom block are technically exterior space since there are no doors shutting them off from the outside.
The second-floor hallway of this block seems to float because of the openings behind the lockers that allow light and air to circulate to and from the skylights above. A smaller breezeway separates the classroom block from a double-height cafeteria block. Extending northward from the main building were a single-story locker room block and a double-height gymnasium.
The entire structure is constructed from concrete and consists of thin slabs that provide both the previously-mentioned solar shading and rhythm of solid and void to the overall design. A county school board chaired by the visionary Philip Hiss commissioned the building, following a construction program of educational buildings designed by local architects.
The building was widely regarded after its completion as an example of forward-thinking and won an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1962.
Sarasota High School Addition
Sarasota High School Addition

Architect

Paul Rudolph, 1960

Paul Rudolph’s Sarasota High School, 1960, was the last building that he completed in Sarasota before moving to New Haven, CT, to become the Chairman of the Department of Architecture at Yale University.
It is a document of the transition of Rudolph’s work from the light, wood-and-glass structures of his early years in Sarasota to the heavier, Brutalistic concrete structures of his later career around the world.

Sarasota High School Today

During the years 2013-14, The Sarasota County School Board renovated the building, stripping away many minor additions, wiring, and pipework that had accumulated since the building’s construction.
The building’s signature stepped roofline profile was reinstated, windows that had been blocked-in over the years were glazed again, and the original stucco was removed and replaced so that, from the exterior, the building now looks exactly as it did in 1960.
The innovative hallways of the classroom block, however, were demolished in order to provide more interior square footage for the school in the 21st century.
Sarasota High School Addition

News about Sarasota High School

Revere Quality House, Architect: Paul Rudolph, Photo: Wayne Eastep

Upcoming House Tours

Join us on a tour of the Revere Quality House, Cocoon House and the Umbrella House in July – September, 2021. You can purchase your tickets below for the following…

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Exciting News for Architecture in Sarasota

We are pleased to announce that the Center for Architecture Sarasota and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation are joining forces to create one organization called Architecture Sarasota, to be led by Executive Director Anne-Marie Russell.

Carl Abbott

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Other Designs by Paul Rudolph

Walker Guest House, Architect: Paul Rudolph, Photo: Ezra Stoller

Walker Guest House

This project was Paul Rudolph’s first after breaking his partnership with Ralph Twitchell in 1952. Because of its spatial efficiency and environmental features, it is one of the most exemplary structures of the “Sarasota School.”

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Cohen Residence, Architect: Paul Rudolph

Cohen Residence

The house was built in 1955 for former City of Sarasota Mayor David Cohen and his wife, Eleene, is a classic example of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement, with glass walls that open completely to the elements.

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Deering Residence, Architect: Paul Rudolph, Photo: Ezra Stoller

Deering Residence

Constructed primarily of stacked lime blocks and exposed cypress, this two-bedroom beach house is an exercise in spatial complexity and the blending of inside with outside.

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Martin Harkavy House, Architect: Paul Rudolph

Martin Harkavy House

With broad overhangs, thin framing, delicate screens, and open carport, the original house seems both light and monumental. A two-story glass living room at the rear opens to a private garden.

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Burkhardt Residence, Architect: Paul Rudolph, Photo: Emily Cain

Burkhardt Residence

Rudolph planned this house as two units – one public and one private, which are connected by an 22-ft x 40-ft open-air living room with 12-ft-tall ceilings, full-height glass and a skylight that runs its entire 40-ft length.

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Sarasota High School Addition

SHS Rudolph Canopies

Further to its efforts with the School Board of Sarasota County on the renovation of Paul Rudolph’s 1960 Sarasota High School, in 2018, SAF, in partnership with the Sarasota Art Museum, worked to dedicate the concrete canopies…

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Umbrella House, Architect: Paul Rudolph, Photo: Anton Grassl

Umbrella House

Built as a speculative house for the contemporary development Lido Shores to attract attention from the road, the Umbrella House measures about 2,000 square feet…

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Cocoon House

Cocoon House

Officially known as the Healy Guest House, the Cocoon House was constructed in 1950 by the partnership of Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph.

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Featured Architects and Designs

Revere Quality House
Paul Rudolph
and Ralph Twitchell, 1948
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Revere Quality House
Healy Guest House ("Cocoon House")
Paul Rudolph, 1950
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Hugh Given House
Philip Hanson Hiss, 1951
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Hugh Given House
Hiss Studio
Edward "Tim" Siebert, 1952
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Hiss Studio
Walker Guest House
Paul Rudolph, 1952
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Walker Guest House
Sanderling Beach Club
Paul Rudolph, 1952
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Sanderling Beach Club
Umbrella House
Paul Rudolph, 1953
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Umbrella House
Cohen Residence
Paul Rudolph, 1955
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Cohen Residence
DeVries/Craig Residence
Edward "Tim" Siebert, 1955
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Devries/craig residence
Martin Harkavy House
Paul Rudolph, 1957
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Harkavy House
Deering Residence
Paul Rudolph, 1957
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Deering Residence
Burkhardt Residence
Paul Rudolph, 1957
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Burkhardt Residence
Warm Mineral Springs Inn
Victor Lundy, 1958
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Warm Mineral Springs Inn
Maurice Birk House
Philip Hanson Hiss, 1959
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Maurice Birk House
Mrs. Adelia Dolan House
Philip Hanson Hiss, 1959
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Dolan House
Scott Building
Joseph Farrell
and William Rupp, 1960
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Scott Building
Plymouth Harbor
Frank Folsom Smith
and Louis F. Schneider, 1966
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Plymouth Harbor
St. Paul Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall
Victor Lundy, 1969
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Fellowship Hall
Casa De Cielo
Carl Abbott - 1982
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Casa De Cielo
Saul & Florence Putterman Residence
Carl Abbott, 1986
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Putterman residence
Chapell-Lifeso House
Donald C. Chapell, 2000
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Chapell-Lifeso House
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