Sarasota MOD Weekend schedule of events 2022

Architecture Sarasota presents its ninth annual Sarasota MOD Weekend, a three-day architecture festival held from November 11-13 which celebrates the legacy and global impact of the Sarasota School of Architecture  (a.k.a. Sarasota Modern) — the regional, mid-century modern architecture movement that has come to define the cultural landscape in and around the city of Sarasota, and which continues to influence architects and designers around the world. The Sarasota MOD Weekend schedule features tours, talks and much more.

Each year, the citywide festival features new ways for the public to tour and experience the city’s rich architectural heritage and celebrates key figures from the Sarasota School of Architecture through curated exhibitions and conversations. Unlike past festivals, this year’s theme reflects on key characteristics that define the city’s architectural landscape and takes the story of the Sarasota School on a journey around the globe by engaging with the city’s neighbors in tropical and subtropical regions in an exploration of “tropical modernism” — a global architectural style ​​in which climate elements such as light, heat and humidity inform key decisions in building design.

The festival will center around Tropical Modernism: Climate and Design, an exhibition and symposium which will jointly examine how our shared environmental conditions drive design similarities in both function and aesthetics, as we share a common palette of materials, and the need to modulate heat and precipitation and to harness the elements in favorable ways. Held at Architecture Sarasota’s restored McCulloch Pavilion on South Orange Avenue, the exhibition will trace a wide range of “tropical modernisms” and examine how humans have adapted to the challenges of living in the “torrid zone.” The exhibition will be accompanied by a symposium featuring critical conversations on topics ranging from the preservation of architecture under environmental distress, to the use of intelligent design to engineer buildings cooled by natural ventilation. ​​To see how the Sarasota Modernists addressed such climate concerns, Sarasota MOD Weekend attendees will have the opportunity to survey the city’s rich architecture through tours led by trolley, kayak and on foot.

Sarasota MOD Schedule

Healy Guesthouse (aka 'Cocoon House'), built in 1948 by Paul Rudolph with the aid of Ralph Twitchell, Siesta Key, Sarasota. Photo: Ryan Gamma. Courtesy: Architecture Sarasota.
Healy Guesthouse (aka ‘Cocoon House’), built in 1948 by Paul Rudolph with the aid of Ralph Twitchell, Siesta Key, Sarasota. Photo: Ryan Gamma. Courtesy: Architecture Sarasota.

Sarasota MOD Weekend’s schedule begins on Thursday, November 10th, VIP Passholders are invited to join Architecture Sarasota for a special preview of the exhibition Tropical Modernism and to meet the MOD Tropical Modernism Symposium scholars.

The festival officially kicks off on Friday, November 11th, with kayak tours of stunning residences lining the Siesta Key canals, and a Sarasota MOD Weekend Opening Party at Ca’ d’Zan — a Mediterranean revival mansion that served as circus impresario John Ringling’s winter residence — with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served while guests enjoy the sunset overlooking Sarasota Bay. 

Saturday, November 12th will feature trolley tours of two of the most pristine Sarasota Modern structures in town: Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph’s Healy Guest House (a.k.a. ‘Cocoon House’) and Revere Quality House, followed by yoga under the canopy of Rudolph’s Umbrella House, and walking tours of Sarasota’s original “tropical modern” neighborhood, Lido Shores.

Sarasota MOD Weekend’s schedule will end on Sunday, November 13th, with the Sarasota MOD Tropical Modernism Symposium. Moderated by Morris Hylton III, the National Park Service’s Historic Architect for Climate Change, the symposium will feature Dr. Vandana Baweja speaking on tropical modernism and its colonial legacies; Dr. Sonia Chao with a historical look at the interactions among and between designers in the Caribbean basin and the mainland U.S.; Robert Rubin with a rousing story about the discovery, and subsequent rescue of an important Prouvé structure from ruin in the forests of Brazzaville; Dr. Daniel Barber with a talk on thermal practices within the built environment, before and after air conditioning; and Dr. Christopher Wilson with a demonstration of how the Sarasota School of Architecture practitioners embodied a form of critical regional tropical modernism that went on to span the globe.


Founded in 2021 with the coming together of the Center for Architecture Sarasota and the Sarasota Architecture Foundation, Architecture Sarasota is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to stewarding the legacy of the Sarasota School, and providing a forum for the education, advocacy and celebration of good design in the global built environment.

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