Welcome to the latest issue of Sweet Sparkman | In Detail, in which we share insights into the art of architecture, a look at some of our projects, and news about our staff and organization. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into our world and the many directions our profession takes us. As always, if there’s a particular project or topic you’d like us to address, let us know. We want “In Detail” to be a forum for enthusiasts of all things architecture and interior design, as well as those merely curious about the process.

A Facility Made For Lovers (Key)
Sweet Sparkman Celebrates the State Park’s New Discovery Center

The new Welcome and Discovery Center at Florida’s Lovers Key State Park, designed by Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors, officially opened to the public earlier this year and was the subject of our latest video project.

The structure was meticulously designed to meet the needs of the park’s ambassadors and visitors. It provides an essential hub to showcase and educate visitors about the park’s flora, fauna, and diverse ecosystems, as well as support daily park operations. A key focus was resilience, assuring the structure could survive the high winds, flooding, and other challenges that come with a coastal environment. The building was designed to evoke its surroundings, with columns mimicking the rugged mangrove root systems that protect the barrier island.

The Welcome and Discovery center was funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Division of Recreation and Parks and the non-profit Friends of Lovers Key (FOLKS).

Please visit the project page on our website to see photos and a complete description of the Lovers Key Welcome and Discovery Center.

Courtesy of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Selby Gardens Selects Sweet Sparkman
Sweet Sparkman Awarded the Role as Local Architect for Phase I of Master Plan

Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors was recently named the local architect for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Phase I development project. In the role, Sweet Sparkman will coordinate design services with the project’s primary architect and consultants for the initial phase of the downtown Sarasota campus renovation project.

Team members from Sweet Sparkman were on-site during the project's ceremonial groundbreaking on Thursday, June 3. The festivities marked the official start of the organization’s Master Plan, which will revitalize and realize the full potential of Selby Gardens’ 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus while also preserving its rich history for future generations.

Phase I initiatives are expected to include the creation of a new Welcome Center, a cutting-edge Plant Research Center with a state-of-the-art herbarium, laboratory and research library, and a Living Energy Access Facility (LEAF). The LEAF will house parking, a gift shop, a garden-level restaurant, and be fully outfitted with eco-conscious, sustainable features like a 50,000 square-foot solar array and stormwater filtration system.

Learn more about the big news by visiting our blog.

Fab Appointed To New Role
AIA Gulf Coast Associate Director

Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors team member Jose “Fab” Ruel V. Bozzolo-Fabia, Assoc. AIA, was recently appointed as the new associate director of the AIA Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.

In his new role, Fab will serve on the chapter’s 2021 board of directors and help steward their mission of creating positive change in our community through the power of design.

Sarasota Leadership
Eloise Abraham among 2021 graduate class

Congratulations to Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors’ Eloise Abraham on her recent graduation from the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Adult Leadership Sarasota Program!

The program is designed to enhance the participants’ awareness of the community and its needs by examining how leadership in the historical, geographical, educational, economic, governmental, and cultural segments perpetuate and advance the Sarasota County community.

To learn more about the program or view a complete list of graduates click here.

Two New Designers Aboard
Neng and Autum Start With Sweet Sparkman

The Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors team is expanding with the addition of Neng Zhu and Autum Hanson. Please join us in officially welcoming our new team members.

Neng and Autum join Sweet Sparkman, each with an unwavering passion for outstanding design and diverse, accomplished backgrounds. Read their full bios below.

Neng Zhu
Neng Zhu is a native of Suzhou in Southeast China, an hour from Shanghai. She was inspired at an early age by the work of celebrated architect I.M. Pei, whose portfolio includes the Suzhou Museum. In pursuit of her goal to be an architect herself, she came to the United States and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, earning a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, with a minor in Landscape Architecture. Neng subsequently earned her Master’s in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design along with a Certificate in Landscape Architecture.

A musician, Neng plays the cello and piano. Now, in Florida, she plans to add scuba diving to her leisure activities. A fan of the Sunshine State’s warm weather, she loves being outside.

Autum Hanson
The daughter of a commercial pilot and a flight attendant, Autum comes by her love of travel and new horizons naturally. A year in boarding school in Italy set the stage for journeys from Dubai to Nicaragua, South America to South Korea, informing her interest in the integration of available materials.

With a degree in Interior Architecture from The Ohio State University, she loves the artistic challenge of working within structured environments to flex her creative and problem-solving skills. In her off-hours, she enjoys horseback riding and other outdoor activities and is an avid “thrifter,” buying and reselling goods.

Sweet Sparkman | In Detail allows us to share select updates and show you glimpses behind the scenes at Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors. We hope you'll also connect with us via Instagram and LinkedIn.

Of course, our favorite way to connect is by talking. That's the best way to hear what's on your mind and share ideas about the projects that are important to you. One way or another, let's connect!

- The Sweet Sparkman Team

Jul. 20, 2021