The Cocoon House, formally known as the Healy Guesthouse, is a Sarasota treasure that illuminates its Siesta Key neighborhood. Built in 1948 by Paul Rudolph with the aid of Ralph Twitchell, the Cocoon House is a testament to innovative design that still inspires visitors today.
Set on a quiet lane in Siesta Key, this jewel box home measuring about 760 square feet, holds firmly on cantilevered beams that inch over Bayou Louise. The simple layout lends to an uncluttered coastal lifestyle. The catenary roof curves down into the interior to create an intimate space inside while exhibiting historic architectural feats from the outside.
Surrounded by windows on all four sides, the Cocoon House is bright and airy. The front and back windows are detailed with exterior wooden blinds that allow the inhabitant the choice of bringing the outdoors in or creating a cave-like oasis.
The balcony reaches past the structure and is complete with integrated seating creating the perfect spot to enjoy Gulf Coast sunsets over the tranquil bayou beyond.
The Sarasota Architectural Foundation recently signed a long-term rental for the house and it has been given new life. Refurbished in 2018, the Cocoon House delights with a refinished exterior and vintage-inspired interior. Through teamwork and considerate design work, Ellen Hanson Designs, Pansy Bayou and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation were able to envision a millennial update to this 1950s historical home.
Mindful of the mid-century timeline, Ellen Hanson Designs honored the intent of the space by using humble vintage materials, innovative planning, and coastal textiles from Charlotte Osterman.
Each corner of the home is styled with thoughtful details. Simple lighting, timely furniture pieces and coastal artwork all contribute to the clean lines which complement the purity of Rudolph’s architecture.
The bright, earth-toned textiles celebrate the intent of creating a home where one can be indoors and fully indulge in the natural beauty outside.
Although the home is currently only open for tours twice per month, the designers graciously created a space that any twenty-first century dweller would feel enchanted and comfortable to live within.