Florida / Carribean AIA Jury: Strandhus, Merit Award of Excellence for Renovation and Additions

This is an amazing transformation that emphasizes why people should use architects.

Florida Gulf Coast AIA Jury: Ringling Museum of Art, Asian Art Expansion, Award of Divine Detail

We had to invent a category for this project.  The ceramic exterior skin was of such quality and beauty that we had to acknowledge it.  At once calm and electrifying, the skin portends well the Asian art that lies behind its walls.  This rain screen wall makes the project sing.

Florida Gulf Coast AIA Jury: "Origins" Exhibition, Award of Excellence

The Jury was taken by this incredibly thoughtful and thought provoking work of art. The presentation of the work was noteworthy in and of itself, but it portrays a concept and attention to detail that reveals a master work that is lyrical and inspiring. It has simplicity and grace on its surface that ultimately reveals a deeper complexity that one discovers only as they look deeper, much to the joy of those lucky enough to experience this precious gem.

Florida Gulf Coast AIA Jury: Sarasota County Beach Pavilions, Award of Excellence

These elegant Beach Park Pavilions are uniquely suited to their place. They are functional and beautiful with well integrated sustainable elements that add rather than detract from their aesthetic. The composition of screen walls, roofs accents and horizontal planes are combined masterfully to create a working piece of art that should stand the test of time and be a lasting amenity for visitors to the area for years to come.

Peter Van Buskirk, P.E., Building Committee Chairman, St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

Todd Sweet and his team helped a diverse building committee shape a vision for the Church’s campus while designing the Fellowship Hall reconstruction plan. Working with a committee isn’t always easy and add to that varying levels of experience, Todd and his team showed their patience and creativity to form a consensus among the committee members. The talented staff of Sweet Sparkman developed a wonderful plan for our Fellowship Hall that incorporated a number of the program elements, keeping the overall vision in mind, while staying within a limited budget.

John F. McCarthy, Sarasota County Government

Sweet Sparkman Architects was selected by Sarasota County Government to design several park projects including a suite of new beach park facilities throughout Sarasota County. These projects include new facilities for Manasota Public Beach, North Jetty Park, Siesta Public Beach and South Lido Beach. In all cases Sweet Sparkman Architects has taken a collaborative and creative approach, working with stakeholders, other design professionals, engineers and the various regulatory agencies. In many cases Sweet Sparkman Architects' creativity and coordination have resulted in our ability to obtain permits for beach structures that are elevated a minimum amount, enhancing access for all and reducing the impact of new structures on our natural beach environments.  We have also found Sweet Sparkman Architects to be sensitive to and capable of addressing issues related to historic structures and natural vegetation. In addition, Sweet Sparkman Architects has been flexible in adapting plans based upon stakeholder and public input as new ideas and opportunities came to light.

Teri A. Hansen, President/CEO, Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Coast Community Foundation and of Gulf Coast Stategic Investments, I wholeheartedly recommend TOTeMS Architecture (Sweet Sparkman Architects) firm to be hired to run successful, public charettes.”  The foundation was planning a 146 acre mixed-use, mixed tenancy, mixed-income neighborhood with homes for working families.  In order to include all the necessary stakeholders within the design process, the foundation engaged TOTeMS (Sweet Sparkman Architects) to organize and run a week-long public design charette.
The charette included more than 40 local developers, property owners, city and county officials to create a comprehensive plan for the North Venice Laurel Road corridor.  During the charette, several substantial hurdles were overcome through the deft handling by TOTeMS personnel.  These issues included stormwater management, public infrastructure such as roads, landscape design and civic amenities.  The ultimate outcome of the charette enabled the Foundation to move forward with this project in a more comprehensive manner.
I would be very happy to provide further comment on the vast capability and capacity of TOTeMS.

Robert Elder, Commissioner, Pine Island - Matlacha Fire Rescue District

Todd Sweet, you are to be commended for designing a project for the community that it serves. I have worked with many other architects who have become lost to their own egos and, in so doing, have designed projects to satisfy some misguided artistic drive without the proper respect for the desires and personality of their clients. Todd Sweet, you are not one of those.

Oliver Clarke, Project Planning & Construction; City of Cape Coral

Fire Stations 3, 4, and 8 were completed in 2006 several months ahead of schedule and within the originally approved budget.  This was a particularly formidable achievement since the City decided shortly after construction began to upgrade the design wind survivability to handle 150mph / 1.15 importance factor category 5 storms which necessitated extensive re-design and construction changes.


Jerry G. Knight, Retired Fire Chief, City of St. Petersburg Fire Department

…as a consultant to the Boca Grande Fire Control District, I worked for the District on the Boca Grande Fire Station. Todd Sweet and Arif Abdulla were the principal contacts and supervising architects on the project.  They displayed creativity in design and extreme patience in working with the owners in the design and development stages.  The follow through was in my judgment outstanding, especially in the area of attention to detail.  We had regular meetings that worked out the day-to-day problems that inevitably occur and made the necessary adjustments before they became a crisis.  They worked with the District to provide for the direct purchase of the larger items during the construction process, which took advantage of the tax exempt status of the District and saved the District and taxpayers significant amounts of money.

I am pleased to report to you that the Boca Grande Fire Station sustained essentially no damage from the Hurricanes that passed through that area, while significant damage was experienced on the island to other properties.  I attribute this to the design and engineering that Todd and Arif oversaw in the process of the project.

It is my sincere recommendation that TOTeMS receive your favorable consideration for your fire station project and that their eagerness to provide you with a high quality Fire Station will not leave you and your Department disappointed.

Bob Orlando, Project Planning & Construction; City of Cape Coral

TOTeMS conducted the design of both Neighborhood Park I and Sirenia Vista Park in a weeklong charrette.  TOTeMS Architecture, Inc. brought together engineers, traffic consultants, parks and recreation department personnel, city planners, neighborhood groups, police and fire department personnel in a well coordinated effort to build consensus among the different stakeholders for the master plan design for both park sites.  As a result of this charrette, the City of Cape Coral is now constructing Neighborhood Park I and has received City Council approval to move forward with the development of Sirenia Vista Park.
TOTeMS staff was professional, responsible and handled the charrette process with a great amount of patience and diplomacy. It is my sincere recommendation that TOTeMS receives your favorable consideration for your next project.

Mike Jacobson, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Sarasota

I am very pleased to write on behalf of Dr. David Brain, Jerry Sparkman, and the team from TOTeMS, Inc., who organized and led the design charrette for the Leonard Reid project last spring.  When Dr. Brain and Mr. Sparkman recommended a charrette as the most effective approach to the design of this project, I really didn’t understand the amount and quality of work that could result from a single intense week of work.  Nor did I understand the potential significance of engaging the community in a charrette process.  In the end, the charrette was successful far beyond our expectations.