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Deering Residence, Casey Key, Sarasota, FL, 1956-1958


 

“Designed by Paul Rudolph, the Deering house in Casey Key, Florida, uses a two-story screened patio to give unity to a complex series of plans and levels- there being a different level for each of the three general areas, living, kitchen-eating and private. The resultant different ceiling heights give a feeling of space that is almost a house within a house. Large piers of lime block were used to give an exterior coherence and rhythm to the rather elaborate spatial composition.” 

Johnson, Philip. "Three Architects." Art In America 48 (Spring 1960): 73.

 

"The Deering Residence on Casey Key represented a new direction in Rudolph’s work. Constructed primarily of typical lime block and exposed cypress as a facing material, this project achieves a highly refined yet rugged quality that transforms the two-bedroom beach house into a structure of transcendental strength. Both the east and west facades are dominated by the rhythmic alignment of nine pillars formed out of stacked lime block with mortar joints of similar tone, creating a monolithic column from a distance and an intricately constructed mosaic of materials at close inspection. The restrained color palette is continued into the interior blurring all distinctions with their surroundings. White terrazzo flooring, cream-colored block, and lightly stained cypress mimic the surrounding color and texture of the beach, providing an analogous relationship with the site. 

Spatial complexities are emphasized within the confines of the box or, in this case, the rectangular cage defined by the exposed exterior columns. Rudolph spoke of designing with the ides of having one thing built within another and he achieved this by wrapping the soaring two-story semi-exterior porch with the major interior spaces of the house. The play between mass and transparency becomes evident as the sun moves around the volume, tracing the shadow lines of the columns across the floor and walls. This structure appears strong enough to resist the destructive force of the seasonal hurricanes."

Domin, Christopher, and Joseph King. Paul Rudolph:The Florida Houses. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. p. 191.



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