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Paul Rudolph Umbrella House

Paul Rudolph Umbrella House

Architectural Digest named the Paul Rudolph Umbrella House as "One of the five most remarkable houses of the mid twentieth century".

In 1953, thirty-five year old Paul Rudolph was hired by entrepreneur Philip Hiss to design a 2,000 sqft model home for a new development on Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida. It became an icon of mid-century modernism and the most recognized example of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Rudolph and Hiss used the opportunity to explore modernism in a sub-tropical context, and the home’s unique features are their response. Built before air conditioning, its north and south walls are constructed almost entirely of jalousies which open to allow breezes from the Gulf and Bay to cool the house. The house and pool were originally shaded from the intense Florida sun by a trellis structure, which quickly became known as the Umbrella. The wood structure stood for over 25 years until it was lost to decay and storms in the late 1970s.

The Umbrella House was purchased by noted Museum Planners and Designers Vincent and Julie Ciulla in 2005. The Ciullas have completed the restoration and renovation of the interior, replaced the HVAC, and installed a new roof. The Ciullas have now turned their attention to the exterior, and the Umbrella itself.

The Ciullas are committed to maximizing the educational value of the Umbrella House, and intend to make the home available to appropriate groups. They have recently hosted their first group, architects and historians from around the country on a tour organized locally by Joe King, architect, historian and author of The Florida Houses and nationally by the Society of Architectural Historians.