Sunday, December 16, 2012

Indian Rock's Beach: An Architect and a Boat Parade


The small community of Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, and specifically the residents who reside on the inter-coastal waters, host their Christmas parties on boat parade night.   Last evening was warm and the waters were calm.  The boats wind in and out of the canals and there are prizes for the best decorated boats.  
This past week  Sarasota Architectural Assoc.  honoured  award winning architect and resident of Indian Rocks Beach   Dwight E Holmes.
Holmes on  graduating  from Georgia Tech set his eyes on the Gulf Coast of Florida  and was hired by Mark Hampton
The Sarasota School of Architecture
The years: 1941 to 1966
The place: Sarasota, Florida
The story: Inflected by local climate, construction practices, regional culture, and Florida life-style, the work of the Sarasota School of Architecture founded by Ralph Twitchell and counting Paul Rudolph, Mark Hampton, Victor Lundy, Gene Leedy, and Jack West among its practitioners, marks a high point in the development of regional modernism in American architecture.
In Europe after World War I, a startling new approach to architectural design emerged. The International style (or Bauhaus as it was known under the European school that taught it) turned its back on historic precedent and exploited the new materials and technologies of the day. Traditional decorative elements or references to past architectural styles were swept away, producing a minimalist architecture of flat-roofed buildings with smooth, unornamented walls and delicate, carefully proportioned facades.
While the Sarasota School found its inspiration in part from the philosophies of the Bauhaus, it incorporated forms of regional Southern architecture, using patios, verandas, modular construction and raised floors to open up its buildings for greater ventilation in pre-air conditioning days. The style added a play of light and shadow, and the color and texture of indigenous low maintenance materials, softening the cold machine aesthetic of the Bauhaus. This approach to design strengthened the connection between architecture and environment, allowing Sarasota School buildings to respect and blend well into their sites. The result was a regional modernism which blurred the distinction between the indoors and outdoors and accommodated the lifestyle and climate of southern Florida.

"Sarasota in the 1950s was one of the most important places in the world for architectural creativity, where the greatest design movements of the day came together."
– Carl Abbott FAIA, original member of the Sarasota School of Architecture

 One of Holmes first projects was a home for his family in South Tampa.  Should it look familiar to you it has been featured in major magazines over the years and is studied by architectural students.


 Located in South Tampa this house was constructed more than forty years ago.  There are several unique houses in this area designed by Holmes

Holmes  designed a highrise building in  Sarasota, a Museum, several schools and continues to design and build spectacular award winning buildings.  His son, Scott Holmes a sought after young architect works with the firm

Architects: Carl Abbott introduces Dwight E Holmes



The audience listened attentively as Holmes responded to a question about LEED archicture and sustainable building (LEED = an internationally recognized green building certified system).
"If architects were doing their job properly and being responsible there would be no need"

 A soiree followed at the beautiful home of Janet Minker and Elliott Himelfarb

Architect JohnHowey, Marty Hill, Artist Mary Rose Holmes,  Dwight E Holmes, Carl Abbot and Janet Minker
How was your week?

52 comments:

  1. Oh my - I wish I could have joined! At least I could by watching your photos! Christa

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    1. Hello Christa and I wish you could have joined us too. It was a wonderful week.

      Helen xx

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  2. That looked amazing - the thought of warm nights and lit boats!Sigh!
    The Holmes interiors you show look amazing - i love the light and airy openness and th large scale bright works of art look incredible.
    Thanks for sharing Helen, I now have lots of catching up to do on your blog, looking forward to reading the posts I've missed.
    Best Wishes and have a wonderful Christmas
    Gill xx

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    1. Hello Gil

      We do live in different climates and at Christmas we always feel show is more appropriate!
      I am pleased you like the Holmes residence and the use of beautiful colour. Mary Rose Holmes, an interior designer, is one of my art partners.
      Have a glorious week and a very Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  3. Hi, Helen -

    Happy Holidays! A boat parade? What a fun, festive and unique way to celebrate the holidays :)

    And thank you for featuring Dwight E. Holmes. His home in South Tampa is stunning. Such sweeping, panoramic views! The bold artwork is equally impressive.

    Many thanks for sharing!
    Cheers,
    Loi

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    1. Hello Loi

      Thank you for your good wishes. The boat parade seems to get the parties started here in our little corner of the globe.
      The location of Holmes' residence is on Tampa Bay in South Tampa - the house enjoys beautiful sunrises and reverse sunsets.
      Hope your week is very special

      Helen xx

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  4. Hi Helen,
    I would have LOVED to have seen that boat parade......it must have looked spectacular.
    .....and, such beautiful homes by Holmes !! I could manage to live in one of those if you made me !!!! haha.
    Hope that you are enjoying your preparations for Christmas Helen.....if the boat parade is anything to go by it looks as if you are having a wonderful time. Much love. XXXX

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    1. Hello Jacqueline

      We would have loved to have you with us for the boat parade and again at the retrospective of Dwight E Holmes lecture.
      The Christmas atmosphere is in the air and the boat parade is a wonderful way to start the season. All the residences along the water are packed with revellers and good cheer prevails

      Have a very Happy Christmas
      Helen xx

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  5. Dear Helen - the beautiful Holmes home must have been so avant-garde at the time it was built. Lovely use of colour in the accessories.
    Splendid Christmas water parade - you have caught the atmosphere so well in your photos.

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    1. Hi Rosemary

      I agree with your comment on Holmes' home - still beautiful following all the years. Good modern and good traditional stand the test of time.
      The Parade is a joyful event and centres around house parties- many company Christmas parties are held at the homes along the canal. Two years ago I was on one of the boats and the comments back and forth are witty and joyful.

      Have a very Happy Christmas

      Helenxx

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  6. Dear Helen, thank you for this very informative post....we had a home in Treasure Island since 1984 and I have always loved the area, miss it terribly now, since we sold it several years ago. My recollections of the brightly coloured lights festooning the boats on the waterways during the holidays is still very fresh in my mind, thank you for this journey back, N.xo

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  7. Hello Nella

    I can understand why you miss your home on Treasure Island, which is just down the road from here. I hope you have the opportunity to visit again soon. Have a wonderful week and stop back again

    Helen xx

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  8. Most interesting--I had no idea that Sarasota and modern architecture were intertwined!
    The boats are so festive!

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    1. Hello Jen

      Yes it is wonderful that there are so many spectacular buildings in the Sarasota, Gulf coast of Florida Paul Rudolph was Dean of Architecture at Yale for six years. He was one of the founding members of the Sarasota school of Architecture.
      Incidentally, Yale School of Architecture a spectacular building was designed by Paul Rudolph.
      Enjoy your week
      Helen xx

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  9. I really like the design of the Holmes house you feature. Thanks for the introduction to his work.

    I attended a boat parade of Christmas lights just last weekend, and was amazed at how beautiful and elaborate these decorated boats look at night. So much work/expense goes into it, I'm sure.

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    1. Hello Sanda

      Dwight is an architect who is highly respected and liked by his fellows and all who meet him. He is passionate about where he lives and respects the environment. Additionally, he is a very accomplished bluegrass musician and singer.
      Yes so much work and creativity goes into the decorating of the boats.

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen
      xx

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  10. Boat parades... Treasure island... Balmy weather in the middle of December. You live in a wonderful area, Helen! We have a Christmas boat parade here in Seattle, but Ugg boots and several layers of fleece are recommended before boarding... Le sigh. :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Hello Veronique

      Your boat parade must be fun too but different. On years when you have snow, the lights must sparkle.
      There is nothing like a parade to lift spirits.
      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  11. The Holmes interiors you show look wonderfull and very interesting.So nice use of colour in the accessories.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments and observation. My art partner is Mary Rose Holmes (wife of Dwight Holmes). She is an interior designer by profession - the combination of unique architecture and design has made this home a classic and it is timless. The couch was purchased for than 40 yrs ago.

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  12. I'd love to have seen the twinkling lights of that boat parade. The Holmes interior is quite stunning.So much light and beautiful artwork, I really love it.

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    1. Hello Sukly
      Thank you and I know you would love the location of the Holmes residence, on Tampa Bay, set among ancient oak trees, dripping with Spanish moss (a cat's dream).Pelicans, herons and dolphins to entertain
      The boat parade lifts our spirits and each year a boat is humbled by a non functioning generator.
      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  13. Love the Holmes interiors!! Various reds in the room are so beautiful!! I know that the color red not only makes us feel warm inside but also feel calm!! His reds are such reds!!
    The Christmas water parade is amazing! Oh I wish I could see it in person! Happy Holidays to you!!

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    1. Hello Sapphire

      Your observation of the use of various reds is true. The doors can be opened and the outside brought in. What is also interesting is that there are no mosquitos, the salt water keeps them at bay.
      The light parade is truly magical
      Wishing you a Happy Holiday season in beautiful Japan

      Helen xx

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  14. What a lovely tradition the boat parade is. If only we had the climate for it in Ireland, and (for now) the spirit.

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  15. Hello Mise

    The boat parade seems to bring out the best in us. Ireland had the spectacular Volvo race this past year, which must have been exciting.
    Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and may all our spirits be uplfited with hope and joy.

    Helenxx

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  16. We love boat parades and that one looked like a lot of fun. There seems to be something magical about lights at night on the water. We're in a condo overlooking a marina and a lot of the boats are decorated.

    The Holmes houses are very interesting. I really like the fact that they were designed for good ventilation for a warm climate. Having lived without air conditioning in a tropical environment for several years, cross ventilation and air flow is critical to comfort.
    Sam

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    1. Hello Sam
      The view from your condo must be spectacular. Don' you find that the reflections in the water are superior to the actual subject? Yes, you would appreciate the designs of Dwight Holmes, always in keeping with the site and surrounding and using the site to enhance the building and ventilation being so important.
      Have a very happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  17. Love the colors - both of the boats and the home interiors.

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    1. Hello Jackie and Joel

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Yeah for colour

      Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  18. I'm not familiar with Holmes but know about the boat parade...have witnessed several and enjoyed them. You have captured some lovely shots of them.

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    1. Hello Rebecca

      Thank you for commenting. A boat parade brings out the best in people. I do wish architects would put their names on buildings they design, they do not advertise and all seem humble.

      Have a great week

      Helen xx

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  19. Such a lovely boat display to celebrate Christmas. I loved the design of the Holmes homes the design still looks so good today too.
    Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah

      The parade seems to really set off the holiday season here and the parties start. The Holmes residence is a classic and the furnishings are still as beautiful today as when purchased. Quality and good taste really stands the test of time.

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  20. Much as love the traditional christmas + snow look I can readily fall in love with the opposite..especially the christmas on the boat...how cool is that!?! And the house is incredible...I love having one wall all of glass. Wishing you a beautiful and blessed Christmas. xx

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    1. Hello Mona

      I am like you and torn between traditional and summer in a tropical climate. We must wait till evening here to get in the festive mood. Outside my window a palm is swaying and is trimmed in mini white lights.

      Thank you and wishing you the blessings of Christmas and peace and joy in 2013
      Helen xx

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  21. The boat parade looks so wonderfully festive. SWFL front gardens look spectacular at this time of year with their displays of lights snaking up the trunks of palm trees.
    I love the vibrant use of colour in Holmes' Tampa home. I am off to read more....
    Merry christmas Helen.
    Paul X

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    1. Hello Paul
      Just this evening upon returning home, we remarked on some beautiful lighting and there is a breeze which makes it more exciting.
      Glad you liked the colours in Holmes' Tampa home

      Have a very Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  22. How magical, I have been on a journey through your life just now! The balmy evening, the light filled rooms, gorgeous images....and Helen I am NOT one bit envious....A very very Happy Christmas. X

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    1. Thank you for your good wishes and I wish you a very Happy Christmas in return and may 2013 be filled with goodness.
      This time of year is quite beautiful here in Florida and we are looking forward to celebrating on Christmas Day with the Holmes family

      Helen xx

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  23. Dear Helen, great post. I miss the Florida,
    Miami Beach Boat Parade. I do love the snow at Christmas, being a Texas gal and 30 years in Florida. This is so beautiful here in Maine.
    Wishing you a healthy and happy Christmas.
    yvonne

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    1. Maine must be beautiful and to have snow is also magical.
      The boat parade is always a joy and so much effort is made by the boat owners.
      A very Happy Christmas to you and your family.

      Helen xx

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  24. A most interesting post Helen.
    I am a little late in commenting.. busy times now.!
    The floats on the river are just super.
    You must all be very proud of the Architect designer awards..
    I think that some of those homes never date. They are stunning.
    Wishing you a very happy Christmas Helen.
    Thank you for all your kind inspiration with my blogging..
    Look forward to more posts and comments with each other.
    God Bless
    stay well
    Val xxxx

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    1. Hello Valerie

      It is always a good day when you visit regardless of time.
      I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a New year with all that is good.

      Thanks for your comments and friendship.

      Helen xx

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  25. Fascinating post about Holmes-- and we have a boat parade here in Seattle, too...although I suspect the whole affair is bit chillier! Happy Holidays, Helen!!

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  26. Hello Elizabeth

    Thank you for your comments. Dwight E Holmes is a brilliant architect and I love his sketches. He has a brilliant sense of humour too and always sees the funny side in situations.

    Have a glorious Christmas

    Helen xx

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  27. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this website very often. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.
    --------------------------------
    Thanh Le - HomeDesignLove.Com
    http://www.homedesignlove.com

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    1. Thank you for visiting and for your kind words.

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen

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  28. What a beautiful boat parade and I enjoyed learning more about this interesting many and fascinating life. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family! Holiday hugs, Diane

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    1. Hello Diane

      The boat parade gets us in the holiday mood. I am pleased you enjoyed reading about Dwight Holmes. The Appleton Museum is also his design and I recall you saying you have visited the museum.

      Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  29. Hello Helen,

    What a beautiful light show! I can imagine the fun and festive atmosphere during those Christmas parties. We have something similar in Thessaloniki, northern Greece on St. Nicholas'name day, the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, on December 6th.

    Wishing you a very Happy Christmas.

    Poppy

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    1. Hello Poppy

      I would love to see pictures of your parade in Thessaioniki, Greece as I am sure it is superb.

      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and all things good in 2013

      Helen xx

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