Glulam beams are the perfect choice for this single family home in Sarasota Bay

This small single family guest house set is inspired by the owners desire to “…respect the land, and the rest will follow”.

It is located on a barrier island on Sarasota bay, between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Ecologically sensitive, the house had to follow strict environmental rules. It also had to be structurally sound to protect against the mangrove’s humidity.

The floor levels are elevated and supported on pile foundations. To preserve the health of the oak hammock a specialised mini-steel pile foundation system was designed to avoid root disturbance and minimise sub-grade impact to the live oaks. As a result, all existing trees were preserved.

The second design goal for the house provided inspiration for the shaping of the structure: to reflect the character and influence of the live oaks. To achieve this goal, glulam beams were utilised to enfold the structure around the space. Reflecting the arching quality of the live oak limbs, curved, laminated pine beams anchored at their base to the elevated concrete slab, curve over the entire space, blurring the distinction between wall and ceiling.

The spaces are organised to provide privacy between the neighbouring property to the north, while offering broad views of the oak hammock to the south and west.

The eventual house is intended to evoke an organic architecture, one that is influenced by and reflective of its site.


Images: Sweet Sparkman Architects