Paul Rudolph's Cohen House Renovation
Siesta Key, Florida
Modernist architectural works are increasingly in danger of demolition, however, with the efforts of Owner and Architect in restoring one such home, another work will endure. Originally designed in 1954 by architect
Paul Rudolph, many concepts he utilized helped define the Sarasota School of Architecture. These concepts included: clarity of design, use of local materials, honesty in details and in structural connections, strong interplay between interior and exterior, and natural integration with the site.
The original Owners made a number of ill-advised changes, allowing the home to fall into disrepair. The future of the house was left in question. New Owners located the historic property and started working closely with the Architect in order to restore and update the home while maintaining design purity.
By relying on original blueprints and photographs, the Architect distinguished between the original and added elements on the home and guided the restoration according to the guidelines established by The National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Exterior components were in disarray and required detailed attention. Tar and gravel originally poured onto the flat roof to stop leaks were now causing the laminated beams to sag and the ceiling to crack. These
materials were stripped off and a spray-on foam roofing system installed. Additional exterior structural components were repaired and new historically accurate windows and doors installed.
The interior restoration included meticulous attention to the original mahogany walls, furnishings and repairing the original terrazzo floors. Lighting fixtures were cleaned and restored, removing those that were
not in the original design. In addition, the bathrooms were updated and new furniture was purchased to complement the house. The careful rehabilitation was completed over a two-year period. The result is a stunning restoration that is sensitively executed in a manner true to Paul Rudolph’s design.
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