The pioneering architects exploring new ideas about the homes we live in and buildings we work in during the post war era have created a lasting legacy that has transformed the home building industry. While the buildings Sarasota School of Architecture have a dramatic visual and artistic effect, the concepts explored by Paul Rudolph an the other pillars of this movement go much deeper than visual appeal.
The dramatically simple forms and large unbroken surfaces required innovations in construction techniques and building materials. Look around at todays modem masterpiece homes and you will find the construction techniques pioneered by these designers now perfected. Concrete poured to form not just foundations but polished floors, ceilings, walls allowing contractors to build homes that are as much a sculpture as a residence. Load bearing portions of the homes design not hidden away beneath ornate trim and mill work but elevated to focal points of the design. The use of large expanses of glass panels in hurricane-prone areas has pushed both manufacturers and engineers to develop new products and standards that are both beautiful and safe.
Today, architects and engineers are looking to reduce the impact that their structures will have on the environment both locally and throughout the supply chain. LEED Certified and Green Building are two buzzwords now common-place as selling points. But during the 40's and 50's when the vast majority of homes did not have air conditioning, the designers of the Sarasota School of Architecture where teaching us how to keep homeowners more comfortable and reduce energy consumption by using the conditions of the home site and the natural rythm of the day. Some of the most iconic of these homes used the prevailing breezes, shaded roofs and extended overhangs to greatly reduce the heat absorbed by the house. Once again these concepts are being used by architects to make their properties more energy efficient.
Many of the concepts of innovation in construction materials and methods such as maximizing the functionality of a given space have been diffused into the building industry as a whole. While the excessive and waistfull trends of the building boom briefly bucked the wisdom of the mid century modernists, design trends have once again renewed focus on building homes around the functional needs of the home owners rather than to impress the Joneses down the street.
The brilliance of the Sarasota Modern movement has been to keep each new generation of designers, builders, engineers and manufacturers in a state of continued innovation and in the pursuit of excellence.
As a builder of fine homes in the Sarasota area, located in a Victor Lundy building, I am proud to participate in continuing this tradition that was started by those visionary designers and is sure to continue for the foreseeable future.
Steve Murray of Murray Homes.