Walker Guest House Replica
Paul Rudolph’s Walker Guest House was constructed on Sanibel Island, about 100 miles south of Sarasota, in 1952. This 24-foot by 24-foot wood-and-glass structure, nicknamed “Spider in the Sand” by Rudolph, is an exemplary exercise in efficient space planning and environmental design. It features large plywood panels that pivot to provide sun shading and wind protection. The panels are moved using spherical red counterweights, giving the structure another nickname, “The Cannonball House.”
In 2015, the SAF constructed the “Walker Guest House Replica” — a one-to-one replica of this original with period furnishings — on the grounds of the Ringling Museum (image above), offering free tours to museum visitors that were staffed by SAF volunteers. Until its dismantlement in 2017, over 58,000 visitors toured the inside of the Walker Guest House Replica and more than 500,000 Ringling Museum visitors saw the building’s exterior.
The SAF’s Walker Guest House Replica is currently on display in Palm Springs, California (image below), and will remain there until February 2020.