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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Casey Key Guest House in Florida by TOTeMS Architecture

July 15th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: TOTeMS Architecture

The project consists of a small single family guest house set within a mature oak hammock, located on a barrier island on Sarasota bay. The narrow island is approximately 600’ wide at the project site, and spans between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Distinct native ecologies of this subtropical environment are clearly evident. From east to west they include: shallow bay waters, mangroves, oak hammock, sand ridge, dune, beach, and Gulf.

Exterior to north (Image Courtesy William S. Speer)

  • Architects: TOTeMS Architecture
  • Project: Casey Key Guest House
  • Location: Casey Key, Florida
  • Building Area:1600 sf
  • Project site size: 1.75 acres
  • Lot size: 175’ x 583’ (feet)
  • Software used: AutoCAD and SketchUp

Image Courtesy George Cott

  • Cost per Square Foot:$540/sf
  • Construction Cost:$870,000.00
  • Date of Substantial Completion: January 2009
  • Type of Project: Residential
  • Owner/Client: Withheld at owner’s request
  • Contractor: Michael K. Walker & Assoc. Inc.
  • Interiors: Shawn Gaither, Studio Hive, Inc
  • Photographer(s): William S. Speer, George Cott Photography, Greg Wilson Group

Exterior dock to porch (Image Courtesy George Cott)

  • Construction materials, mechanical systems or other pertinent information:Elevated concrete slab on piles, custom SYP EllipticalGlulam beams, Bio-base 501 insulation, Cypress siding, Standing seam metal roof, custom 1×6 Shiplap Cypress, Fisher and Paykel dishwasher drawers, Takiagi tankless hot water dispenser, Sub Zero refrigerator drawer and freezer, custom cabinets, Corian and Caspian Shellstone countertops, Dornbracht faucets, flooring (New Ravenna, Casa Dolce Casa, Karelia Birch Classic, Saima), tile on wall and floor of bathroom, Porcher toilet,  Kohler Poise kitchen sink, Marvin windows and exterior doors, solid core birch interior doors, Monterey carpeting, Trane High-Efficiency Heat Pump, custom millwork and moldings, Benjamin Moore paints, IPE deck materials


Exterior porch looking interior (Image Courtesy George Cott)

Positioned at the east side of the oak hammock, as a transition to the mangrove ecology, the wooden structure is inspired by two elements. First, the Owner’s one sentence program which read, “…respect the land, and the rest will follow”.

Living room out to bay (Image Courtesy George Cott)

The house is located in a highly regulated FEMA velocity zone which requires elevated floor levels supported on pile foundations. To preserve the health of the oak hammock a specialized mini-steel pile foundation system was designed to avoid root disturbance and minimize sub grade impact to the live oaks. As a result, all existing trees were preserved.

Interior loft looking east (Image Courtesy George Cott)

The second design goal reflects the character and influence of the live oaks. Limbs shaped by the prevailing coastal winds from the west, provided inspiration for the shaping of the structure. To achieve this goal, glulam beams were utilized 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.

Interior loft looking to oaks (Image Courtesy George Cott)

The Owner’s request for a “house in the trees” consists of a small program, including: one bedroom, one bath, living area, kitchenette, and a loft/sleeping area. The spaces are organized to provide privacy between the neighboring property to the north, while offering broad views of the oak hammock to the south and west, and Intercoastal Waterway to the east. The ground floor includes a kayak storage space, and a covered Ipe deck. The first elevated floor consists of a double height living space, kitchen/HVAC/stair core element, and small bedroom. The loft interior, defined primarily by the glulam beams, and tongue and groove cypress siding, inadvertently alludes to the aquatic bay environment, and wooden boat hull construction. The design is intended to evoke an organic architecture, one that is influenced by, and reflective of its site.

Exterior depth of field (Image Courtesy Greg Wilson)

Exterior from water (Image Courtesy William S. Speer)

Exterior oaks (Image Courtesy William S. Speer)

Exterior to water (Image Courtesy William S. Speer)

Porch detail (Image Courtesy William S. Speer)

Areal Site Map

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Categories: Autocad, Guest House, SketchUp

One Response to “Casey Key Guest House in Florida by TOTeMS Architecture”

  1. Alene Pettus says:

    A beautiful use of the lot. So nice to see people building smaller homes on Casey key Sarasota has way too many mega homes. APR Inc has worked with Michael Walker before and once again they have produced beautiful craftsmanship. Thanks for the article

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