Suncoast : Home Tour : Modern Marvel


Standing like a sentinel along Sarasota’s New Pass Inlet, this modern marvel is as remarkable as it is eye-catching. Large walls of glass and aluminum with accents of vertically oriented wood cladding create a striking structure with a flair of artistry. “When I’m commissioned to do a residence, I feel like I’m approaching a large-scale art form. I pay close attention to form and function, and I aim for a timeless quality that won’t feel dated,” says Guy Peterson, Principal at Guy Peterson, Office For Architecture.

The house is composed of two shifted horizontal bar elements located along the side property lines that house six bedroom suites, one guest suite, and a three-car garage. The space created by the two shifting bars is the central family gathering space – which features front and rear facing full-height glass walls and louvered sun screens, allowing filtered views to the entry courtyard with reflecting pool, as well as the exterior pool terrace with outdoor kitchen, lush native gardens and New Pass beyond.

It’s just this type of innovative design – from beginning to end – that is the firm’s specialty. “We have a strong project management philosophy here,” says Joe Kelly, Project Manager. From a project’s inception until the completion of construction, one project manager/designer will be involved in managing client communication, design refinements and development, material selection, detailing and construction drawings, as well as construction administration. “This creates a seamless process of continuity where nothing gets lost in translation from one phase of the design to the next,” adds Kelly.

Inside, the central two-story living space is spectacular. The house was designed as a family retreat to be used seasonally for vacations and family gatherings. This multifunctional living space is the main focal point of the design both from the interior as well as the exterior. All seven bedroom suites lead directly to this central space promoting family interaction.

The light-filled entryway accentuates the large format porcelain Royal Mosa tile used throughout the interior. Slabs are depressed below each of the two interior stairs and filled with white river rock of various sizes, further bringing the outside elements of nature in. This same material is also utilized extensively outdoors in planting areas, around the pool terrace, and in all second floor outdoor planters, creating yet another cohesive element. However, one of the most intriguing surprises comes from what appears to be a large, round interior column just inside the front doors. The space actually houses a concealed powder room with a freestanding round Corian wash basin from Boffi. Since the room is round, the door was custom made to follow the same radius of the column form. A carbonized ash, wood ceiling floats above the room held back from the wall with a hidden LED light reveal that washes light down the perimeter of the curved wall surface. “We always enjoy designing powder rooms that are unexpected, dramatic and often left to be discovered,” adds Kelly.

The crisp and clean kitchen is equipped with state of the art Wolf and Sub-Zero Appliances. Cabinetry is satin white to match the finish of the white Corian countertops used throughout the kitchen and all bathrooms. All drawers and doors utilize concealed touch to open – in lieu of exposed hardware that would drop a shadow and create visual clutter. The kitchen and utility sinks are also Corian and designed to be integral to the countertops. They appear carved from the counter and further the goal of creating a minimalist aesthetic, void of unnecessary lines, trims, and surface distractions. Upper cabinets are white, back-painted glass with no visible trim. Hand blown borosilicate glass LED pendants by Bocci illuminate the oblong table that masterfully fills the room.

Directly adjacent and separated by glass doors is the outdoor kitchen, offering more culinary options. Exterior cabinets are designed to match all interior detailing but constructed of starboard and stainless steel hardware to withstand exposure to the elements.

The home’s spectacular water views were a major consideration in the design and resulted in large walls of Low-E insulated impact glass and tempered glass railings on all interior and exterior spaces. In the main living area, the client’s extensive collection of B&B Italia Furniture complement the architecture nicely. In keeping with this modern and minimalistic concept, the final detailing utilizes negative reveals in lieu of applied trim surfaces. Lighting design was exhaustively studied to minimize visible light sources and conceal them from view whenever possible. Striking pendant lights from Franco Albini illuminate the aquamarine glass dining table which is convertible, allowing the glass to extend from either side to increase the seating capacity for larger family gatherings.

One design challenge turned into a design “opportunity” since all houses within the community must have a pitched roof. “Creative inspiration came from our client who is enamored with flight, and a Blue Heron named Eddie who routinely visited the site for many years,” says Kelly. The final form is an impressive wing-like structure that appears to take flight above the building atop a continuous glass clerestory. The ceiling of this form is clad with carbonized ash that continues from interior to exterior and is up-lit with a unique tensioned LED system from Edge Lighting.

Outside, the pool, spa, and outdoor kitchen are a natural extension of the indoor living space. Landscaping utilizes mostly native, drought tolerant plants and trees indigenous to the local climate, creating the feel of a tropical escape. Bringing client’s dreams to life is a main motivation for Peterson. “Designing is not something that’s done in a vacuum – it’s about the client, it’s about the site,” he says. “It’s a real honor to be involved in something that is a true reflection of how the client lives.”


Written by Marci Wise
Photography by The Greg Wilson Group

Guy Peterson | OFA
1234 1st Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

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