Essential information about the Sarasota School of Architecture

Responding to and living in harmony with geography lent itself to open structures to facilitate ventilation – remember this was before AC turned our world upside down.

Glass galore

Large windows provide natural light and ventilation. Venetian blind windows and sliding glass doors were a must.

built ins

Many Sarasota School homes had built-in storage and shelving, eliminating the need for freestanding cabinets and furniture that can clutter a space.

A place in the shade

Cantilevered overhangs kept homes cooler by intercepting sunlight and providing shade. The one on the Umbrella House, above, is the most iconic.

Clerestory Windows

These narrow, rectangular windows are placed above eye level to illuminate interiors with natural light, usually in a row directly below the roofline. They also provide privacy without sacrificing natural light. By freeing up wall space, clerestory windows allow for more built-in storage (see above), wall art, and other interior elements.

The blurring inside and out

Glass walls and outdoor seating allow the inside and outside to flow into one another.

The details are in the lack thereof

Sarasota School homes eschew vaulted ceilings, arches, or unnecessary embellishments. Sometimes there is a zigzag, but otherwise the architectural lines remain horizontal and vertical, for a clean, simple look.

Though revered today by historians, architects, critics, and fans alike, most mid-century modern buildings in Sarasota fell into disrepair between 1960 and 1990 and were demolished. In fact, most of the Sarasota School of Architecture homes in Lido Shores are on back roads; many on the water have been demolished over the years to make way for larger homes, especially since most of the original homes were barely over 2,000 square feet.

Follow Architecture Sarasota for more opportunities to get an up close and personal look at these iconic structures with home tours and more.

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