FLORIDA BUILFLORIDA BUILDINGS I LOVE: No. 43: Theissen Residence, 1998, Sarasota

08 Oct 2017 9:19 AM | AIA Gulfcoast (Administrator)


By Harold Bubil
Real estate editor

Posted Oct 7, 2017 at 6:45 AM

8011 Longbay Blvd. Guy Peterson, architect

It’s not on the beach. It doesn’t have what you would call great boating water. In fact, you have to walk across the street to get to the dock.

Despite those locational shortcomings, the gleaming, big-windowed mansion near the Sarasota-Bradenton airport, built for Annette Theissen in 1998, is an icon of contemporary architecture in Florida.

Designed by Guy Peterson when he was still with Johnson Peterson Architects, the house is the ultimate expression of what I call “millennial modernism” in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.

With six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and three full kitchens (and several smaller ones) in 9,700 square feet, the house marked a transition for local modernism from the more modest beach houses to bona fide showplaces.

Its location on the widest point of Sarasota Bay makes it a well-known landmark for boaters north of the Ringling mansion, Ca’ d’Zan.

The house’s elevation, landscaping and windows make the most of its bay views while minimizing the view of Longbay Boulevard’s pavement.

Cars certainly cannot be heard through the impact-resistant, insulated glass.

Nor can jet aircraft at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, just across U.S. 41 to the east.

“You don’t hear anything in this house,” said Realtor Kim Ogilvie, of Michael Saunders & Co., in a 2014 feature story on the house, which she had just listed for sale. White noise from the gurgling water in the foyer’s reflecting pool negates unwanted sounds.

The Theissen Residence has been updated, so the house still has a timeless appeal despite its 20 years, which is considered old for a Bayfront mansion.

The house most recently sold in July 2017 for $3.55 million.

“It was pivotal in my career,” Peterson said of the Theissen project, which began in 1995.

“Annette was an amazing client. Her charge to me was, ‘I want the architecture to speak for itself.’ The only other requirement was that she wanted to see the bay from her kitchen,” Peterson told the Herald-Tribune in 2014.

“The rest of it is up to you,” Theissen told him.

Peterson added, “She gave me a great deal of latitude to try and sculpt space. It did definitely serve as a stepping stone for me, and refocused my practice into primarily doing one-of-a-kind houses.”

More recently, Peterson received the American Institute of Architects’ 2016 Gold Medal from its Florida/Caribbean chapter. The Guy Peterson Office for Architecture was named AIA Florida’s Firm of the Year in 2013.

Information from a 2014 Herald-Tribune feature story was included in this report. “Florida Buildings I Love” is retired Herald-Tribune real estate editor Harold Bubil’s homage to the state’s built environment. Harold has prepared a PowerPoint slideshow for presentation to civic groups. Contact him at hfbubil@me.com.


AIA Florida Gulf Coast Chapter | P.O. Box 160 | Sarasota | FL | 34230 | info@aiagulfcoast.org | 941.315.8242

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