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PARKS: Venice, Florida

"In many cases [Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors'] 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."  

John F. McCarthy, Sarasota County Government

Located in Sarasota County, Caspersen Beach Park is south of the City of Venice, FL. Within the park, two new restroom pavilions are located strategically on the site. Nestled between two natural preserves adjacent to the southernmost beach parking, an elevated restroom pavilion containing a large outdoor viewing platform provides dramatic views, shade and access to restroom facilities. The restrooms and viewing platform are accessed through a suspended wood ramp system. As one ascends the ramp, the natural preserve encloses the structure and provides views of the natural preserve and the Gulf of Mexico. Located on the bay side of Caspersen Beach Park, a restroom pavilion is sited adjacent to a pedestrian nature trail system, covered picnic pavilion and a playground. The pavilion provides family restrooms, a multi-use space available for park functions and a maintenance and operations area. Both structures respond to the sensitive environmental site by capturing the rain water from the roofs and reusing this water for toilet flushing and irrigation of the ground landscape and the vegetated roof. This project has been awarded three times by the American Institute of Architects: first, as the AIA Florida 2012 Design of Merit; second, as the 2012 Gulf Coast Chapter Design of Merit; and third, as the AIA Florida state 2011 Unbuilt Design of Merit.