Annual occasion celebrates the work of Tim Seibert, who liked his shoppers as a lot because the buildings he designed for them.
Together with the handfuls and dozens of buildings, massive and small, that he designed throughout his 37-year-profession, architect Edward J. “Tim” Seibert constructed a whole lot of friendships, too.
“The factor is, I favored them and so they favored me,” Seibert mentioned of his shoppers.
Since his retirement in 1989, he has continued to affect architectural thought within the area by turning into an outspoken “elder statesman” for good design and planning — at the same time as he decries the state of Sarasota’s constructed atmosphere.
It has been “destroyed,” he noticed throughout a latest lunch interview in Venice with the Herald-Tribune. “That’s why I moved to Boca Grande.”
For the fourth-annual Sarasota MOD Weekend, Nov. 10-12, Seibert, now 90, will probably be honored as a lot for his persona as for his portfolio, which, within the estimation of many, is formidable.
“He is a wonderful architect and actually realized it from that interval within the 1950s with Paul Rudolph,” mentioned Joyce Owens, 2017 president of the American Institute of Architects’ Florida-Caribbean chapter, referring to a Sarasota design legend who received worldwide acclaim.
The three-day occasion options events, lectures, panel discussions, trolley and strolling excursions, an artwork exhibit and an “Eames Chair Artwork Public sale” (see Letter From Dwelling on this web page, or sarasotamod.com, or name 941-364-2199, for particulars).
“Tim Seibert performed a key function within the Sarasota College of Structure motion, serving to set up Sarasota as an necessary middle of mid-century fashionable structure,” mentioned Janet Minker, president of the Sarasota Architectural Basis, the dad or mum group of Sarasota MOD Weekend.
“His model is marked by buildings and constructing parts which seem to ‘float’ nearly unsupported, and by ‘ornament’ within the type of exact, deep shadows, purposefully created by partitions and different elements.”
The Ness and Mitchell homes, each in-built 1959 on Siesta Key, are examples.
Seibert’s landmarks are many: the towering 1982 Bay Plaza on Gulf Stream Avenue in Sarasota, the temple-like 1960 Siesta Seashore Pavilion, the glass-sided Hiss Studio in Lido Shores, the purple-doored 1966 Cooney Home on St. Armands Key’s South Washington Drive, and a slew of Arvida-developed condominiums on Longboat Key from the 1970s and ’80s.
However he by no means forgot who he was working for: not himself, however the house owners.
“After all, that's who builds them,” Seibert mentioned. “If you wish to reside a contented life, be a individuals particular person, not a neurotic architect.
“We had friendships,” he mentioned of his prospects. “I favored nearly all of my shoppers.”
Referring to the fashionable structure that was championed by a now-defunct journal Seibert typically learn within the 1960s, he mentioned, “Why would I give them ‘Arts & Structure’ after they couldn’t perceive it and didn’t need it? So I needed to invent one thing for every particular person. Typically it made the magazines, generally it didn’t.”
Seibert admits that his “pure proclivity” is what's now generally known as midcentury fashionable structure — witness the Hiss Studio and the Cooney Home.
“However we didn’t name it that then,” he mentioned. “We simply known as it structure.”
He was not slavishly dedicated to modernism, although. The Lido Seashore Pavilion and the John D. McDonald home had few of the hallmarks of the so-known as “Sarasota College” of structure. His personal home in Boca Grande, which he shares together with his spouse of 30 years, Lynne Seibert, is extra of a tropical modern construction than a home of which the neighbors would say, “That’s the place the architect lives.”
“We needed to construct one thing that might promote if we needed to transfer,” mentioned Lynne Seibert, who's retired from a profession in actual property advertising and marketing and improvement. “We weren’t certain we needed to remain in Boca Grande.”
However keep they did, and she or he has turn into lively in plenty of civic causes there, together with preservation.
“My recommendation for younger architects,” Tim Seibert mentioned, “is to marry somebody smarter than you're.”
A breed aside
Owens, who will conduct an in-depth dialogue with Seibert on Day 2 of MOD Weekend, has spent hours interviewing the person at his Boca Grande house and mentioned he was completely different from the opposite younger architects who started their careers in Sarasota within the 1940s and ’50s.
“He wasn’t like Rudolph, searching for fame, flying to New York making an attempt to get printed on a regular basis,” she mentioned.
“He's a unique persona. His work and his social life grew to become very intertwined. He obtained nice commissions as a result of he's such an amazing man and his pursuits have been so broad — a lot broader than simply structure.”
Whereas Paul Rudolph was “all structure,” Owens mentioned, “Seibert had this superb means to take action many sorts of issues with so many sorts of individuals, together with his crusing pursuits from when he was younger. Due to that, his work is much less nicely-identified. Nevertheless it nonetheless is excellent work.”
Seibert’s lifelong love of crusing is manifested in his second profession as an award-profitable designer of sailboat hulls.
“Yacht design is vastly extra attention-grabbing than constructing design,” Seibert mentioned. “There's a magnificence in boats that you simply simply don’t get in buildings. The sum of design is bigger than its components, and that's troublesome to attain in a constructing.”
The fruits of caring
Seibert’s take care of his shoppers “confirmed in his work,” Owens mentioned. “Every mission was very particular person to the shopper.”
These individuals expertise got here in helpful when Seibert Architects, based in 1955, hit its stride in later many years and have become one of the profitable corporations within the area. He spent a whole lot of time touring, which, admittedly, he doesn't love to do, and profitable commissions for the designers again within the workplace.
“At one level, I used to be not doing structure, I used to be working an organization,” Seibert advised the Herald-Tribune.
“We obtained too massive. I obtained the work, and Sam did it,” he added, referring to Sam Holladay, AIA, who now owns Seibert Architects.
“I believe he did the most effective issues an architect may ever do,” Owens mentioned. “He labored very exhausting; he had an amazing agency and did all these nice buildings, in every single place, for worldwide shoppers. After which he retired.”
Recommendation for the following era
Many architects work all their lives, Owens mentioned, “till they're 90.” Now that Seibert has reached that age (his new objective is 110 years), he's much less shy than ever about sharing his philosophy and recommendation for youthful architects — aside from marrying a better girl.
“If you wish to earn a dwelling in structure, you higher learn to do completely different sorts of buildings,” he mentioned. “It isn't immoral if you happen to determine to not be Paul Rudolph. You may’t be Paul Rudolph. You simply can’t. He labored so exhausting — a pushed-ness.
“It's fairly all proper to be your self,” he added. “Be rather well-skilled. Be an architect, be a designer; don’t be a copyist. After which, be good to the individuals and care about them.
“It isn't that onerous,” he mentioned. “Or perhaps, you get wealthy and construct homes to swimsuit your self — if you happen to don’t have a spouse who desires them one other method.”
With that, Lynne Seibert laughed the chortle of understanding and partnership.
“You might be who you're, and also you by no means change,” Tim Seibert mentioned. “Thankfully, I married Lynn and I reside a reasonably good life.”