Master architect Guy Peterson, in collaboration with architect and designer Robert Couturier, general contractor, Michael K. Walker & Associates and the current owners, spared no efforts in design, resourcing of materials or monetary expenditures in creating this magnificent Gulf to Bay contemporary masterpiece. Located at 814 N. Casey Key Road, this 3-level residence stands as a beacon of achievement in architectural design. Throughout the home, the shell concrete floors and mahogany surfaces bring elements of the outdoors in. The abundance of hurricane strength windows and sliding doors, that stretch nearly everywhere from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall, bring in views of the ocean and saltwater pool in the front and Sarasota Bay in the back. This 1.2 acre home, boasts 4 en-suite bedrooms, 2 half baths, a spacious office, elevator, 4-car garage, a dozen outdoor terraces and sun decks, reflection pools, a dock with lift & an ultra-premium kitchen with opaque glass surfaces.


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Q: Regarding architectural design, it’s been said that you believe in essentialism – a concept that demands design by analytics and reduction, rather than stylistic imitation and embellishment. Can you expand on this?

A: Essentialism is my interpretation of a strategy of minimalist architecture. It is the process of design that I create space and as it develops my design strategy is not what do I need to add, but rather, what can I take away to make the design more honest. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said: “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away”.

Q: What was your inspiration in designing the Durbin House on the north end of Casey Key?

A: The site. Working with the client’s program and taking advantage of the opportunities the site had to offer. We had two distinct conditions, the Gulf side wide open with views to the Gulf and the Bay side with more selective views through salt sculpted oak trees to the Bay. The Gulf side employs what I call “architectural frames” that are used as shading devices and for focusing one’s views to the Gulf. On the Bay side we used smaller more directed view devices through the trees to the Bay. The exterior elevated terraces were designed to be occupied and take advantage of these site opportunities. This was an interesting opportunity and both edges of the house take advantage of this.

Q: I understand you collaborated with architect and designer Robert Couturier from NYC on the home. What was that experience like?
A: I enjoyed working with Robert Couturier and he was a wonderful collaborator. Our scopes of work were clearly defined and I feel we both listened to each other and most importantly to our client.

Q: You’ve worked with master builder, Michael K. Walker and Associates on a variety of projects over the years. How was the experience on this project?
A: Michael Walker and I go back to growing up in Sarasota. I have had the privilege to work with many outstanding builders on our homes during my career and I put Michael up among the very best. I always know my clients will be well served and will be delivered an outstanding product.

Q: I’ve read that while attending Sarasota High School, you became interested in a design movement of the 1940’s to the 1960’s called the Sarasota School of Architecture, which was founded by Ralph Twitchell and later progressed with the participation of design pioneers Paul Rudolph, Gene Leedy, Tim Seibert, Jack West, Victor Lundy and others. How did these architects inspire you?
A: I attended Riverview High School designed by Sarasota School of Architecture architect Paul Rudolph. I also went to Alta Vista Elementary School designed by Victor Lundy and Brookside Jr. High School by the Zimmerman Brothers…all Sarasota School Architects. These experiences influenced my direction and philosophy in architecture. I have tried in my career to advance the principles and tenants they based their work on to my work and to my point in time and expand on those theories.

Q: I understand you closed your office of architecture in downtown Sarasota and are pursuing other life interests as well as semi-retirement. Are you still designing homes if clients would like to hire you?
A: In 2017 we sold our downtown office and contrary to any rumors, I am still working and feel my best work is ahead of me. I work out of my home studio as a design architect providing the same level of design services as I have throughout my career. After the design is established, my clients work with an architect of record to develop and see the project through completion. I remain involved through the course of the project as a design consultant to work with the client and the architect of record to monitor and continue to explore potential design opportunities. In this new role, I find myself as busy as I have ever been and very fulfilled!

Durbin House Awards:
The American Institute of Architects – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter – Award of Excellence in Architecture
2014 Durbin House – Award of Excellence – Casey Key, Florida