November 21, 2009

Gilkey's Cherokee Park West on SRQ Cover

The Cherokee Park West project, a collaboration between Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. landscape architecture and Jonathan Parks Architect, was featured on the cover of the November SRQ Magazine. The award-winning project has received national attention, and SRQ editor Lisl Liang and writer Lindsay Downey took notice. The following excerpts are from the feature, entitled "Cherokee Romance."

Nestled among towering oaks and statuesque retreats in Sarasota’s exclusive Cherokee Park neighborhood sits a home reminiscent of a bygone era, where cool breezes float through grandiose windows and indoor and outdoor spaces flow into one. The crisp white, art deco-meets Moroccan-style home extends effortlessly to a series of inventive outdoor rooms where hedges create walls, hardscape mimics tile, tree canopies define the ceiling and textured plants accent a vibrant outdoor d├ęcor.

Architect Jonathan Parks designed the home at 1729 Cherokee Drive with influences of the 1920s, a time when open windows and natural light paid homage to architectural clarity and brought a sense of organic nature to the indoors. But what began as a home designed to pay tribute to the legacy of the quiet, family-oriented Cherokee Park neighborhood became one of the most innovative uses of indoor-outdoor spaces in the city, with Parks and landscape architect Michael A. Gilkey, Jr. meshing their visions into one. “The thoughtfulness of going through and really tying the landscape and the architecture together, it’s one of the most collaborative projects we’ve done,” Parks says. The home, which was completed in December 2008 and is listed for a sale price of $2.5 million, won Residential Design and Build magazine’s 2009 Design Excellence Award for Outdoor Living and the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2009 Award of Honor.

Whereas a landscape architect might typically come in at the end of a home construction project, Gilkey and Parks talked through design concepts together from day one. “They had to be on the same page philosophically and their hearts and minds really needed to be in tune with each other,” says (owner and developer Jan) Zachariasse. The artists envisioned small courtyards and romantic gardens comprising a series of distinct yet intimate exterior spaces that would spill out from the modular home.