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BUILDING A DAY: October 5, 2014

Umbrella House
Sarasota, Florida

Architect: Paul Rudolph
Photos: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division


In 1953 Paul Rudolph was hired by accomplished writer and entrepreneur Philip Hiss to design a 2,000 square foot speculative home for his Lido Shores development on Lido Key. The two-story, wood-frame house has three bedrooms and three baths and the interior progresses over nine levels. Balconies and bridges connect the upper levels over a two-story living and dining space. Rudolph designed the house using 32-inch modules, which was the width of a 1952 standard Sears’ jalousie window. These jalousie windows on the north and south walls provide cross ventilation to cool the house with natural breezes. A flat wood ?umbrella? trellis covered the house and pool area and provided sun control. The wood trellis was lost to decay and a hurricane in the late 1960s. 

In 2011, the current owners replaced the trellis structure and completed the restoration of the house. 

The Umbrella House was selected as one of the five most remarkable houses of the mid-20th century by Architectural Digest and included in the book ?The American House: A Guide to 100 Iconic American Houses.?

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