Aerial of Selby Gardens’ Master Plan for the Downtown Sarasota campus
Photo Courtesy of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

SARASOTA, Fla. – Sweet SparkmanArchitecture and Interiors, a multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, announced on Wednesday, the company has been named the local architect for Phase I of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus (Selby Gardens) Master Plan.

In the role, Sweet Sparkman’s architects and designers will coordinate design services with the project's primary architect, Overland Partners, and other consultants.

Phase I of Selby Gardens’ Master Plan is scheduled to break ground June 3rd. The three-phase 10-year Master Plan will revitalize and realize the full potential of Selby Gardens' 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus while also preserving its rich history for future generations.

Selby Gardens' Master Plan is expected to safeguard and showcase the world's best scientifically documented collections of orchids and bromeliads; add more open space; become an international model for the latest green building technology; accommodate its visitor base; and connect the underserved families and children in the region to the wonders of Selby Gardens. The plan also calls for creating a new stormwater purification and solar energy plant on-site, making the campus the first-ever net-positive botanical garden complex in the world.

"We look forward to working with Sweet Sparkman Architecture to realize our transformational Master Plan for our Downtown Sarasota campus," said Jennifer Rominiecki, President & CEO of Selby Gardens.

Phase I initiatives 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 the 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 such as a 50,000 square-foot solar array and stormwater filtration system.  

Sweet Sparkman's team has an extensive record of successfully completing similar endeavors in the Sarasota, Florida community and an unwavering commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly design. The company has served as the local architect on multiple award-winning design collaborations with nationally recognized prime architects. These include the Ringling College of Art + Design Alfred R.Goldstein Library, Ringling Museum Asian Art Center, Ringling Museum Glass Pavilion and the Sarasota Bayfront.  

"To be selected as the local architect for this initiative and to help champion Selby Gardens' vision for the future is an absolute honor," said Sweet Sparkman partner Jerry Sparkman, AIA, NCARB. "We pride ourselves in supporting outside teams with our local knowledge to ensure long-term success. Together with other project stakeholders, we will work tirelessly to further enhance Selby Gardens' position as a cultural and environmental leader within the Sarasota community through the success of their Master Plan."

For more information about Sweet Sparkman’s services, team members, portfolio of work and more, please visit

About Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors

Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors (SSAI) is a multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm specializing in community-oriented projects, and high-end residential, as well as interior design. Established as TOTeMS Architecture in 2002, the award-winning firm has based its success on actively listening to clients’ stated goals and careful analysis of every project parameter, including financial, physical, social, and environmental. Based in Sarasota, Florida, SSAI’s international team of bold, inventive, and curious professionals propels collective creativity and inspires big ideas. For more information, visit

About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history.Established by forward thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown Campus onSarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants. There is a significant focus on botany, horticulture, education, historical preservation, and the environment. The Historic Spanish Point (HSP) Campus is located less than 10 miles south along Little Sarasota Bay. The HSP Campus, one of the largest preserves showcasing native Florida plants that is interpreted for and open to the public, celebrates an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida history. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is also accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information, visit


Jun. 2, 2021