The Weaving House, designed by Mark Hampton, is a striking midcentury architectural masterpiece in Lakeland, Florida. The Sarasota School architect has created a timeless beauty that has been immaculately preserved and restored by its current owner, Andrew Weaving. The house showcases the best of midcentury design, from its terrazzo floors and walnut walls to its stained glass features. This article dives deep into the history, design, and significance of this extraordinary property, as well as exploring the life and work of Mark Hampton and the Sarasota School of architecture.
A Brief History of the Weaving House
The Sarasota School of Architecture
The Weaving House is a prime example of the architectural movement known as the Sarasota School. The Sarasota School was a group of post-war architects who designed modernist buildings on Florida’s West Coast. The movement, founded by architects such as Paul Rudolph, Gene Leedy, and Mark Hampton, closely mirrored the Case Study projects on the West Coast.
Mark Hampton and the Weaving House
Mark Hampton, a leading figure in the Sarasota School, designed and built the Weaving House in 1957. The property was constructed with steel beams and open-plan spaces that incorporate the natural environment through walls of glass. The house retains most of its original structures and furnishings, with both the exteriors and interiors impeccably preserved.
Andrew Weaving and the Restoration of the Weaving House
The Weaving House was discovered by midcentury expert and author Andrew Weaving, who purchased the property and meticulously restored it to its original condition. Weaving’s efforts earned the house a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing it as a valuable piece of history worth preserving.
Key Design Elements of the Weaving House
One of the most striking features of the Weaving House is its terrazzo floors. Terrazzo is a composite material made from marble, quartz, granite, and other materials, set in a cementitious binder. The material was popular in midcentury design for its durability, low maintenance, and sleek aesthetic.
The Weaving House’s interior walls are a mix of walnut and grass cloth, lending warmth and sophistication to the space. Walnut is a hardwood known for its rich, dark color and attractive grain. The use of walnut in midcentury design adds to the timeless appeal of the Weaving House.
Stained Glass Features
Original stained glass screens divide the shelving and dining areas in the Weaving House, adding a touch of artistic flair to the interior design. The stained glass features in the house contribute to its unique midcentury charm.
Living in the Weaving House
Accommodations and Amenities
The Weaving House sleeps four and has two bathrooms. The layout is primarily open-plan, but there are sliding pocket doors throughout, giving guests the option to open up or close off certain areas. The kitchen includes original appliances and an eye-level fridge.
Outdoor Swimming Pool
The current owners of the house, Andrew Weaving and his family, have installed a swimming pool. The pool was designed with the help of Mark Hampton and follows the design of the house and the pond outside the master bedroom.
Location and Attractions
The Weaving House is situated in a quiet residential area close to Lake Hollingsworth. The property is conveniently located near restaurants, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and downtown Lakeland, where you can find museums, antique shops, galleries, and bars.
The Legacy of Mark Hampton and the Sarasota School
The Impact on Florida Architecture
The Sarasota School had a significant impact on Florida architecture, with many buildings designed by its architects still standing today. These structures serve as testaments to the innovative ideas and designs the Sarasota School brought to the region.
Frank Lloyd Wright and Florida Southern College
Lakeland, Florida, is also home to the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the world. The Florida Southern College campus, just across Lake Hollingsworth from the Weaving House, features many of Wright’s iconic designs.
Gene Leedy’s Work in Winter Haven
In the nearby town of Winter Haven, there is a large collection of houses and buildings designed by one of Mark Hampton’s contemporaries, Gene Leedy. Like the Weaving House, these structures showcase the unique style and vision of the Sarasota School architects.
The Weaving House as a Vacation Rental
The Weaving House is available for rent as a vacation home for midcentury enthusiasts and architecture buffs. Guests can enjoy the beautifully preserved interiors and experience the essence of the Sarasota School’s architectural style.
The Weaving House can be rented through Boutique Homes, with rates starting at $250 per night. Staying in this iconic property offers guests a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the history and design of the Sarasota School of architecture.
Nearby Attractions for Modernist Enthusiasts
Guests at the Weaving House can make a pilgrimage to the Florida Southern College campus to view its collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures. Additionally, the surrounding towns are dotted with works by Hampton’s contemporaries, and Tampa is less than an hour’s drive away.
The Weaving House is a shining example of the Sarasota School’s midcentury architecture, beautifully preserved and restored by Andrew Weaving. Its original design elements, such as terrazzo floors, walnut walls, and stained glass features, contribute to its timeless appeal. The property’s location in Lakeland, Florida, offers guests access to a wealth of architectural history, from the works of Frank Lloyd Wright to the designs of Gene Leedy. Whether you’re a midcentury enthusiast or simply appreciate beautiful design, the Weaving House is a true gem worth exploring.