Brooks+Scarpa, STUDIOS Architecture, and Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors shortlisted in Reimagining Pei competition at New College in Sarasota

Three finalists have been selected by the New College and Architecture Sarasota for its Re-imagining Pei design competition to transform the I.M. Pei–designed student dormitories at New College’s East Campus, dubbed Pei Campus.

Out of 35 total entries, the three shortlisted firms are Brooks+Scarpa; STUDIOS Architecture; and Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors, a Sarasota office. Each will receive a $10,000 honorarium from the New College Foundation to “further develop their design concepts,” according to a press release. The winning entry will be publicly announced November 17.

Members of the five-person selection committee came from academia and practice. They included David Mohney, Dean of Architecture from the Michael Graves School of Architecture at Kean Univiersity; Taryn Sabia, Assistant Dean for Research at the University of South Florida School of Architecture; Alan Plattus, founding director of the Urban Design Workshop at Yale; Max Strang, Founding Principal of Strang Design and Morris “Marty” Hylton III, President of Architecture Sarasota.

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Phillip Hanson Hiss III and I.M. Pei. Architectural interview at New College of Florida, Sarasota, Florida c. 1963 (Courtesy New College Foundation)

“We extend our immense gratitude to everyone who has entered the competition and are honored that so many widely respected practitioners of architecture submitted their ideas,” said Richard Corcoran, New College’s interim president in a press statement. “It’s reflective of our ambitions for this new chapter in the history of the college and an enriching prospect for student life on our campus. We’re very eager to see how the designs proposed by these exceptionally resourceful, innovative and forward-thinking architects will develop, connecting New College’s rich past with its future.”

Pei’s brutalist designs are the architects only built work in Florida. They stand out in contrast to Sarasota’s tropical modernism and are organized around three interior courtyards, centered around a Palm Court. In the upcoming renovation, the school anticipates “significant intervention and alteration of the structures” with the Palm Court and facades to be preserved.

“Preservation being at the heart of Architecture Sarasota’s mission, we were excited to see enthusiasm for such a project that sits at the heart of Sarasota, contributing to the community’s renowned architectural heritage. The thirty-five entries from outstanding architects and teams from across the globe were a testament to the importance of our advocacy, with our local community positioned to be the epicenter of efforts that reach far beyond,” said President of Architecture Sarasota Morris (Marty) Hylton III. “Participants sprawled the world map, with entries from five different countries, including the UK, Italy, France, Kuwait, and the US; ten different states, with nine entries from within Florida, of which five were Sarasota-based practitioners. The selection of the finalists was a challenging process of narrowing down from a list of architects with staggering qualifications.”

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