Florida /Caribbean American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Recognizes Sarasota Firm for Civic, Residential and Theoretical Designs including their exhibit at Venice Biennale
Sarasota, FL (August 12, 2014) –Small Sarasota firm Sweet Sparkman Architects received big recognition from the Florida/Caribbean Association of the American Institute of Architects for three projects on July 19 in Miami. The Honor Award of Excellence for New Work was received for Beach Pavilions in Sarasota County; the Merit Award of Excellence for Renovations was received for Strandhus -a residential project on Lido Key; and the Honor Award for Theoretical Research Designs was received for Sweet Sparkman’s exhibit at the Venice Biennale in Italy entitled Origins.
This boutique firm was also awarded five Florida Gulf Coast AIA Design Awards in May 2014. Among them was “The Award of Divine Detail,” specially created by the judges for Sweet Sparkman and their colleagues Machado and Silvetti Associates for their work on the Asian Art Study Center at The Ringling Museum of Art.
Sweet Sparkman Architects received the 2014 AIA Florida Honor Award of Excellence for New Work for the Sarasota County Beach Pavilions. The project purpose was to design the ADA compliant restroom facilities called Beach Park Pavilions. Todd Sweet, a principal in the firm said, “It is an honor to be recognized by our peers for architectural design, especially considering the utilitarian nature of these structures.” The firm designed the pavilions with an abstract version of sea-oats allowing them to withstand hurricane force winds. A wood ramp system is suspended above FEMA elevation allowing handicap access and spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. “There is an intelligence to these buildings that is too often missing from public or municipal structures and that intelligence is married to the design and high quality of aesthetics,” noted one AIA juror. “The basic utilitarian function of the pavilions is brought to a level of celebration as one connects to the beach.”
The Sarasota firm also took home the Merit Award of Excellence for Renovations for Strandhus-a project which involved major renovation to a 1950’s home on Lido Shores. The design team was able to preserve the existing footprint of the house while introducing a modern aesthetic. Due to FEMA requirements and the 50% rule for non-conforming structures, the project was created in five different phases. The Florida/Carribean AIA Jury praised Sweet Sparkman’s Strandhus for being a clever reworking of an existing home that successfully develops the outdoor space saying, “This is an amazing transformation that emphasizes why people should use architects.”
When Sweet Sparkman was invited to exhibit at Venice Biennale, arguably one of the most prestigious architectural exhibitions in the world, Origins was the result. The theme of the exhibition at Palazzo Bembo on the Grand Canal was “Common Ground”. Sweet Sparkman, in collaboration with Ringling College of Art and Design, created Origins using the abundant material of ancient quartz which, over time, has transformed into a powder like sand ultimately forming Siesta Key Beach in Florida. The use of this “sugar sand” in the exhibit transforms what was a common material into an uncommon experience.
The AIA Jury said of Origins, “This project is an elegant celebration of sand, both in its movement and its transformation of material. It is remarkable that this project is able to achieve an atmosphere using only two materials. In different forms these materials are able to create an entire range of impact to the fact that it is able to engage all the senses.”
“Whether we are designing a museum, a vacation home or a beach restroom, we seek to create distinctive architecture that belongs to its site and climate,” said Jerry Sparkman, principal.
For more information and to see the projects visit www.sweetsparkman.com.
About Sweet Sparkman
Sweet Sparkman Architects is a multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm specializing in community oriented projects. Principals, Todd Sweet AIA, LEED and Jerry Sparkman, AIA NCARB bring a combined 40 years’ experience in architecture and planning, including large mixed-use projects, corporate building projects, public sector work, civic and community projects. Sweet Sparkman Architects received AIA awards and national and international design industry recognition for a wide range of projects including private residences, office retail complexes, fire stations, park pavilions, and even a barn/music studio. For more information visit www.sweetsparkman.com.