Over the past decade, Sarasota’s Rosemary District has transformed from a sparse and neglected stretch north of downtown into one of the Florida city’s liveliest corridors. In 2014, the City Commission tripled the allowable density in the district from 25 to 75 units per acre, setting off a buying frenzy among developers, who have since introduced over 1,700 new homes and numerous restaurants, shops, and offices.
The new developments come in all shapes and sizes, but few are as considered as Zahrada, a mixed-use complex with midcentury flair. Large apertures that recall those used by Paul Rudolph in his 1950s residential designs help set the row of white stucco-clad townhomes on 4th Street apart from its neighbors, while an intricate section (also redolent of the architect) neatly delineates the ground-floor office and retail spaces.
“Like Rudolph, we always try to take advantage of Sarasota’s agreeable climate and provide nice, shaded outdoor spaces, and seamless transitions from inside to out,” said John Pichette, founding principal of local firm Halflants + Pichette Architects.
Each of the six high-end homes contains four bedrooms, a pool, a detached granny flat, and an oversize two-car garage. Impact glazing frames views of the inner courtyard, which features plantings by DWY Landscape Architects. To Pichette’s point, sliding doors and undifferentiated concrete flooring extend the main living area into the (enclosed) pool patio. The flooring also mitigates the transmission of noise to the storefronts below.
This winter, construction will begin nearby on Zahrada 2, also designed by Halflants + Pichette. Though it follows a more traditional mixed-use format than its predecessor, Zahrada 2 will take greater advantage of the new zoning allotments by upping the occupancy area to 22 units, or 18 homes and 4 retail/office leases. There’s a dash of Rudolph in there, too.
Architect: Halflants + Pichette Architects
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Structural engineer: Wilson Structural
Civil engineer: AM Engineering
MEP: Hahn Engineering
Landscape architect: DWY Landscape Architects
Geotechnical consultant: Universal Engineering Sciences