Architecture Sarasota's Annual MOD Weekend to Celebrate the Vision of Philip Hiss

House and Home

Pictured: Hiss Studio, taken by Jenny Acheson.

The 2021 Sarasota MOD Weekend, November 12-14, will celebrate the origins of Architecture Sarasota and Philip Hanson Hiss, the primary catalyst of the modern architecture movement in Sarasota. The three-day festival will celebrate Hiss’s forward-thinking ideas and how they gave rise to the origins of the Sarasota School of Architecture (SSA). Hiss, a visionary civic, education and design leader, will also be celebrated in Architecture Sarasota’s exhibition The Vision of Philip Hiss, which opens in October.

MOD Weekend is known for inspiring visitors to immerse themselves in Sarasota’s modern architectural treasures. Celebrating Hiss’s role as a catalyst in creating those treasures is a fitting way to launch Architecture Sarasota, a union of the vision and mission of Center for Architecture Sarasota and the Sarasota Architectural Foundation. Hiss’s appreciation that good design could make a difference in how people engaged with civic buildings—such as schools, colleges and municipal buildings—caused him to run for the Sarasota County School Board, establish New College and involve himself in local government. Notably, Hiss set up a competition to design New College’s campus, attracting 10 of the most renowned architects of the day and awarding I.M. Pei the commission. The Paul Rudolph-designed Riverview High School and Sarasota High School and Victor Lundy’s Alta Vista Elementary School are just a few examples of Hiss’s design leadership. 

In 1958, Time Magazine celebrated Sarasota’s public school renaissance, led by Hiss, writing that Sarasota “…can top any community in the U.S. in school architecture.”  Hiss felt strongly that good design and educational outcomes were integrally connected and envisioned New College as a place of “complete freedom of inquiry”.  

Stay tuned for the full MOD Weekend schedule in early July.  Details will be available on SarasotaMod.com

Pictured: Hiss Studio, taken by Jenny Acheson.

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